It has been a LONG time, since I have written in my blog. So much has happened in my personal life as well as my professional life. I'll give you the top 10.
10. First rejection of my novel. Awesome words and encouragement from Agent K.
9. 4 Different Christmas Celebrations: My Grandparents', ours, my in-laws', and my parents'. P.S. I love celebrating and had a blast. However, these things tend to drain everyone else who lives with me, so we needed some recover time. :)
8. Finished ALL editing of Swords & Cinder. Thanks, Maggie and Kelley!
7. Submitted to Publishing Company (1 week window). As soon as you hit send, you realize mistakes you somehow made or overlooked, and then you think of several things that needed to be done differently. Won't get rejection from that for a year. I won't be holding my breath. ;)
6. Mom asks me, "So, what are you going to do now?" I answer, "Write the next book!" I have the next three pretty much planned out in my head (at least basic plot lines).
5. Submit to Sun Vs. Snow Contest and learn my word count is too low for a Fantasy. Not enough world building. What's world building? I went on a month sabbatical, researching world building, reading books with good world building, and thoroughly enjoyed myself reading "Shadow & Bone." It was refreshing to read someone who has a similar voice to mine and follow the characters through plot lines I wanted to see. Book 2 is on hold at the library. If only, I could get there to get it.
4. SNOW & COLD. LOTS & LOTS OF SNOW. LOTS & LOTS OF COLD. Here in Indiana, we broke all kinds of records for low temperatures, wind chill, and snow amounts. Okay, maybe we didn't actually BREAK the record, but we were mere inches from doing so. I don't know for sure. I didn't care enough to find out.
3. Joined Celebrate Recovery (from now on, referred to as CR). Now, I know what you're probably thinking. CR is for addicts, right? Yes, but it's for everyone. Anyone who has a HURT, HABIT, or HANGUP. Anyone who faces pain and wants to escape in someway: food, alcohol, movies, TV, pornography, books (oh, yes, I said it!), drugs, harmful relationships. The biggest issue I've seen in myself and other women is Codependency--caring too much about what others think of you, so you alter your actions to please them. At CR, I found freedom to be myself, tell the truth of my past or how I feel, and loved unconditionally (very similar to my experience in church, but then again, I am a pastor's kid). In fact, this Thursday, I start 12 Step Study, and I'm excited to one day help other women with issues they struggle with. This new development was very unexpected.
2. My kids' birthdays. First, my son turned 4 and started preschool. My sweet, sensitive little boy had to learn how to correctly interact in a school setting, communicate with other boys and girls his age (without screaming or hitting), and learn from someone other than Mommy or Grandma. It was a rough start, thanks to all that previously mentioned snow and cold, which delayed or canceled his school for most of January. Then, the twins turned two, and OMG! Addy is running around, climbing things, falling from places, screaming and trying to smash her head on the ground when she's mad (which Mommy has successfully prevented). Ella is screaming her dragon scream off and on all day at random times. Sometimes, she eats nothing, throwing it all on the floor and screaming. But other times, they walk with me, say some of the letters of the alphabet, count "1, 2, 3," sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" or "Wheels on the Bus," and pray with me before bed. But the biggest thing about 2 are the toddler beds. We trained Ella first, keeping Addy in the crib, because let's face it, I don't trust her loose in her room. Ella learned really well and has been a success. Addy has done okay, but then we went to Grandma's to house-sit. Needless to say, Ella's sleeping on a mattress on the floor, and Addy is in the crib. I'll tackle that when we return home and get her bed set up. Last thing approaching is potty-training. Addy is ready, and we've been trying, but I've abandoned my efforts in the stress of the past couple weeks. Boy, will I be thrilled when we're out of diapers for good!!!!
And the moment you've been waiting for. Number 1:
World Building in my novel. I drew a map, labeled kingdoms, villages, rivers, homes, and started rewriting my novel from the beginning with the new world. I'm 40 pages in (finished the set-up before I fast-forward to Owen, aka Cinderfella, age 15), and so far I've added 5,000 words. So excited! I really delved into the relationship between Owen and his childhood friend, Violet. Pitch Madness is coming up, and my husband is really pushing me to enter, which surprises me but doesn't surprise me--he wants me to get it out as soon as possible but knows virtually nothing about the writing world. I hear the world building gets easier and less intense the further you get into the novel, but I already know of places I need to add more world building.
Final lesson of the day. September of 2013, I finished then called "Cinderfella" which was 20,000 words. I thought my novel was good, though the ending needed work. I submitted to Pitch Madness and knew the poor chances I'd be picked. Now, here I am, 6 months later. My novel is called "Swords & Cinder" and is currently 55,000 words (hoping to get to 60 or 65,000 words). I have learned so much through each step of my journey. With each critique, I learn more and become a better writer. I can officially look at myself 6 months ago and laugh. I thought I was ready then. Now, I wonder where I'll be this September. Will I have an agent? Will I have an editor? Will my book be purchased? And what will I think of myself now? I don't know. But I will walk each step of my path, taking one day at a time, learning to be the best writer I can be. Because this is my dream. I will be a published author someday, and somehow, I will make money doing this. Because if it were up to me, I would write everyday, 7 hours a day. That's the dream: The "Writing" Mom. :)