I took another break…

Cause I’m decadent like that, yo.

futuramaslapActually, no. Not because I’m decadent. Far from that actually. I’m actually quite down to earth and a great listener. At least, that’s what the people say about me, the ones who can’t see the glaze settling over my eyes while they go on and on and on and on…well, you get the idea, but really, I was interested in what they had to say! For the first ten minutes, anyways. After that, if you’re still talking and you won’t even let me get in a word edgewise, you deserve the glazed eyes and drooling from me.

Okay, okay, but let me explain why I haven’t been anywhere near a computer these past two weeks.

Our AC upstairs broke down and my workstation is upstairs, so…I couldn’t work up there. You see my impeccable logic here, right? No, I couldn’t just bring down my laptop to the living room downstairs and work, couldn’t sit at the dining room table and work, oh noooo, I have my ritual, have my setup all to my liking, like hell I was going to go through that crap all over again.

Nah, I was just going to wait until the AC repair guy showed up like magic to our front door and make everything all chill again.

Of course, it never occurred to me that one would first have to CALL the maintenance people for such thing to happen.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating a bit, but I might not have pushed my husband enough to call them. I would’ve done it myself, but hey, I don’t speak the lingo, so it’s not my fault if my husband kind of drops the ball a few times, right?

Those few days turned into a week. Then that week turned into two weeks.

The fifteenth day was yesterday. I did some self-reflection, stretched out on the couch in front of the TV, MST3K playing in the background, doing some Memrise on my phone, and then felt so disgusted with myself. I was being a lazy bum and all just because I was too lazy to set up a workstation downstairs that would’ve taken all of fifteen minutes (if that) to do.

*cue self-loathing*

So, I decided to get my lazy ass off the couch, of which there is now a permanent dent where I had laid there for the past two weeks, and worked on setting up a workstation in the living room, actually right next to the couch that I’ll probably have to fumigate now, seeing as how I didn’t leave it for fifteen days.

The setting up took all off 5 minutes, which mostly consisted of me lugging down (actually my husband did it) a cheap plywood desk that is basically a plank of wood with two metal legs on each end, setting it next to the couch, bringing down my laptop, hooking it up to the nearby outlet and then finally bringing down my chair, with all the requisite cushions that make me feel like I’m sitting on a cloud. A cheap cloud, but a cloud, nonetheless.

Of course, this was after my husband so kindly informed me that the repairman or woman would be here the next afternoon and if I would be in.

*cue head-desk*

All that work! All that ten minutes of work! Wasted! Argh!

Okay, so I’m being just a bit sarcastic. Maybe more than just a bit, actually.

Anyways, moral of the story is, don’t be a lazy bum.

Basically.

So, the time is now about fifteen minutes before noon, and I’ll probably hop in the shower, get some vegetables for the dinner which will consist of me throwing a bunch of things into the crockpot and praying everything will taste reasonably okay with everything else, and then writing/editing/designing for the rest of the day.

Life is…good.


Halfway through with Dark Moon Rising?

So, I got kind of excited. Because I’ve officially gone over 50k in DARK MOON RISING and with a 95k estimated word count, I’m technically more than half way through the first draft of the next chapter in Tan’s life.

Only, I’m only on Chapter 7. And there’s supposed to be about 26 chapters. With my estimated chapter count, at Chapter 7, my word count should be 35k, not 50k.

Once again, I am guilty of over-writing. Actually, I just put my fingers on the keyboard and just barf up words, just to see what sticks. DARK MOON RISING is a first in many ways for me. Working with a very in-depth synopsis, complete with a chapter breakdown, a beats sheet, and a timeline, it’s easily the most work I’ve done pre-writing before actually starting the first draft.

I used to be a diehard pantser, but I got sick of running out of steam halfway through and the editing that came after a pants-ed first draft was just…terrifying. Horrifying, actually. I’m still working on edits for ASURA NIGHT and every time I open up the document in Scrivener, I’m filled with a sense of horror and shame. Okay, so I’m being a little melodramatic, but basically I got sick of doing all my work AFTER the first draft, and am trying something a little different.

Anyways…yeah. I’m starting to think I should just do away with the word-count meter and just go with chapters finished, because that is a way more accurate count of progress. Sure, updating the widget will be fewer and less exciting, but I really do want to keep readers of Tan’s story updated, mostly because I kind of suck with keeping promises, as far as releases are concerned.

Still hoping to get ASURA NIGHT out by the 12th of next month, so there will be lots of work on that in the next week or so, and then it’ll be the proofing, which will be another headache and another blog entry.


Taking Breaks

Sometimes, taking a break can be the best thing you can do.

Note the keyword: sometimes.

Other times, you’ll take a break from a manuscript, come back and the only thing going through your mind is “What the fuck was I writing?” And then you look back at the prose that you once thought was fixable through edits, and you come to the conclusion that, no, nothing short of a miracle will help you fix the crap you spat out for the last few days, weeks, months. However, everyone knows miracles are in short-supply nowadays, and the project ends up in your WIP folder, only to be brought back out when you’re feeling particularly hateful and all you want to do is just get that everyday 8-5 job, the one you were hoping to avoid by turning into the next JK Rowling or Stephen King.

(That last sentence was super long, sorry for the rambling)

Anyways, so I’ve taken a break from Dark Moon Rising, the fourth book in the Blood Martyr series. Well, I’m going back to it right after this blog entry, but the last time I opened this particular WIP was on the 5th and I only got about 550-something words for the half hour I could stand to look at this first draft. Before the 5th, I also had a day without any writing, and then before that, on the 3rd, I got a grand total of 265 words.

Woooo….watch out, World, here I come.

/sarcasm

In all honesty, I could just type out the entire synopsis here and you would have no compunction to read the whole 95k once I get it out there. I know every damn beat in that story.This is the first book I’ve written where I’ve put this much time and effort into the pre-workout so the actual game of writing can be easier.

Easy. HAH.

I used to be a die-hard pantser. Like, you could give me a perfect outline and I’d just kind of stare at it, a lost look on my face, kind of twitching because I don’t know what to do that much information.

Honestly? I think I’m feeling just a little bit of that right now.

I’m drowning in this pool of information and I don’t even have a styrofoam noodle to keep my head above water. I’m frantically trying to tread water, but you can’t tread water forever. At some point, I’m going to get tired and sink like a bronze Lenin statue.

But, you know what, though?

I can see something in the distance. Could just be a piece of cloud hugging the horizon, could be a ship, could be nothing. It could also be an island, the island otherwise known as “COMPLETED FIRST DRAFT.”

So, I’m frantically shoving my hands through the water, snorting half the proverbial ocean through my nose, and making for that place like my ass is on fire.

Because let’s face it. There’s only one way to finish a first draft and it’s by writing. No other way of doing it. Just grit your teeth and shovel through all the crap to find that tiny-ass diamond underneath it all.

And if you’re lucky, you’ll even find some kind of joy of throwing the muck over your shoulders, feeling that much closer to that gem that could make the rest of your life meaningful and make you feel like everything was fucking worth it.

Because this is worth it. So fucking worth it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got about 10,000 words to write.

So yeah. Watch out, World, here I come.

(not sarcasm, but I get why you’d think that)


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.

435927


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.

enhanced-309-1435489543-2
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:
11149364_1028251007204587_3724817025171290201_n


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…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.