Decisions, Decisions

I don’t think this could possibly be a secret, but I love to participate in NaNoWriMo. I just really like the challenge of setting myself a big, bold goal and seeing if I can achieve it.

There are three sessions each year (April, July, and November). Normally, I only do one, maybe two, as life allows. Back in January, however, I set a goal to participate in all three sessions and even developed a game plan for each.

April’s session was supposed to be devoted to finishing the first draft of Full Circle. July was supposed to be dedicated to finishing the first draft of the Terrible Romance Sequel. November was supposed to be an opportunity to experiment with a shiny new idea.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you may already know how April’s session turned out. I set my goal for 25,000 words because I thought that would be enough to get me to the end of Full Circle.

It was not.

In fact, I wrote 27,000 words, and it still wasn’t enough.

Which has thrown a wrench into my careful planning.

(Something for which I really should have planned, but whatever. It’s all good. I’m not irritated at all. Really. And if you believe that, I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you…)

Now the July session of NaNoWriMo is right around the corner, and I am trying to decide (see…the title did have a point!) what I should do. As I see it, I have three options:

  1. Make yet ANOTHER attempt to finish Full Circle

2. Stick to the original plan and attempt to finish Terrible Romance Sequel

3. Run away to join the circus

What’s a writer to do? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each, shall we?

—Make yet ANOTHER attempt to finish Full Circle

Again, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you may already know that I’ve been trying and failing to do this for…well, for a while now. At least a year. Probably more. I thought 2021 might be the year I break through because I thought I was tantalizingly close to reaching the end.

Which I may be. I don’t know. I could be sitting right on top of the damn ending and be just too obtuse or whatever to see it. I don’t know. I can’t stress enough how much I don’t know.

But I desperately want to finish this story. There are three people in my life who want to read this book, and I feel worse and worse every day I can’t make that happen. So, though normally, I would stick this WIP in a drawer and leave it there for a while to give my brain a break, I just can’t bring myself to do that this time.

I want to type THE END on that first draft, if for no other reason than when the manuscript ends up being ignored in a metaphorical drawer, there’s a reason for it besides my failure (If you didn’t know, I let manuscripts rest for at least a month in between drafts).

So once again making Full Circle my project of choice is tempting. It is an undeniable truth that my desire to win NaNoWriMo often helps me power through a story and reach that word count goal. Maybe this session will be the session that allows me to drag myself across the finish line.

But…it is also an undeniable truth that I still don’t seem to know how this damn book is supposed to end. Or how I get the characters from where they are now to whatever that ending ends up being. How would I even decide on my word count goal? This book could need 15,000 more words. or 25,000. Or 50,000. Or more. I don’t know. What if the book is, in fact, unfinishable? (At least in my hands…) What do I do then?

Bottom line: If I make Full Circle my project, am I dooming myself to spend 31 days just staring at a blinking cursor?

—Stick to the original plan and attempt to finish Terrible Romance Sequel

I started this story last November (during NaNoWriMo, of course) and finished with 51,309 words. It didn’t have a beginning or an ending and contained only the smallest amount of plot that could possibly be considered plot.

(You may now be asking yourself, “If there’s no beginning or ending or any real plot, how the hell did you end up with 51,309 words?” And I’ll tell you…I don’t know.)

It’s been sitting in a drawer ever since December 1st. I haven’t looked at it—mostly because of the aforementioned push to finish Full Circle—but also because it doesn’t have a beginning or an ending and only the smallest amount of plot that could possibly be considered plot.

But for all the things I don’t know about this book, the Terrible Romance Sequel does have one thing going for it: It’s not Full Circle. I haven’t been trying and failing to finish it for…well, for a long time now. Maybe a fresh(er) project will produce better results because it will seem far shinier and newer to my dumb brain than its ancient counterpart.

But…the truth remains that I don’t know how to finish this story, either. I honestly don’t know if I can. My dumb brain came up with this concept—which I really do like (or did like, when I looked at it last)—but I am quite fearful that it’s not only unfinishable but also unwritable. (At least in my hands…)

Bottom line: If I make Terrible Romance Sequel my project, am I dooming myself to spend 31 days just staring at a blinking cursor?

—Run away to join the circus

Pro: Doesn’t involve me coming up with endings for any story or possibly ever writing anything ever again.

Con: I don’t actually have any skills that might be useful in a circus setting. Also—and I can’t stress this enough—clowns are f&*k!ng terrifying.

So that’s where I am. I have a decision to make with a deadline of 11:59:59pm on June 30th. I really hope to have it made before then, but as a wise man once said, “What you plan and what takes place ain’t ever exactly been similar.”

We’ll see what happens this time around.

Which option do you think should I take? What do you do when you can’t decide? What do you do when you can’t seem to figure out a story’s ending? Or beginning. Or middle? And, most importantly, what do you think of clowns?

June Goals

As you may have gleaned from the title of today’s post, I’m talking about goals.

First up is a recap of last month’s goals…

—Finish the first draft of Full Circle

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. I totally did this. Except…no, I didn’t.

Because of course I didn’t.

I wrote some words, deleted a hell of a lot more, but ultimately added just over 2,000 words to the manuscript.

But it still isn’t done.

Because of course it isn’t.

—Figure out May’s marketing attempt and, you know, do it

If you stretch the definition of both ‘marketing’ and ‘attempt’, then I totally did this.

Otherwise…not so much.

—Walk at least three miles a day

This, I did. I logged a total of 111 miles in the month of May, for an average of 3.6 miles per day.

Thanks, puppies!

Now let’s talk about June’s goals.

—Finish the first draft of Full Circle

—Attempt to do some sort of marketing something

—Make a plan for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo session

—Walk at least three miles every day

What are your plans/goals for June?

Dogs Are A Girl’s Best Friend

About a year ago, I learned about two dogs in need of a home.

My significant other and I had been dog-free for a while and had intended to stay that way for a while more—mostly because of our 21-year-old cat, Low Fat Cat. She doesn’t get around as well as she used to, and we thought introducing new pets to the household might be too much stress for her.

But it turns out that I am a total sucker for cute animals in need of a home, so I talked to my significant other and we agreed to try. To see if Low Fat Cat could accept the presence of two dogs. On paper, it seemed like it would be fine. These two dogs were small and not puppies and had lived with cats in the past, so I thought if she could accept any dogs, it would probably be these two.

I was right. It took a couple of days days (Fine. It was four days.) before she would get near them, but now most of my evenings are spent like this:

So a year ago, we welcomed Scrappy Doo and Snoop Dogg to our home, and they have just been adorable little bundles of love and joy ever since.

We could not love these dogs more. (Seriously. You should hear my significant other baby talk the boys. It’s just so damn cute.)

Even when they’re doing things like scouring the backyard for rabbit poop to eat. Or on said search finding and eating half of a dead giant grasshopper’s body (the ass end, in case you were curious) only to later throw up partially digested bits of grasshopper ass on the carpet (under a chair, even, because in the middle of the tile floor in the kitchen wouldn’t have been any fun).

The neighbors are probably a little sick of hearing us exclaim, “Oh my God, you’re so cute!” over and over again, but they’re just going to have to adjust. Some things can’t be helped.

Because they’re just that cute.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here now, for your viewing pleasure, are a few of my favorite snapshots from our first year together.

Scrappy Doo, in desperate need of a haircut
Snoop Dogg at the dog beach
Scrappy Doo, hard at work
Snoop Dogg, practicing his favorite yoga pose, downward sleeping dog
Dogs are my co-authors

Even though it’s only been a year, it feels like they have been a part of our family forever. I don’t know what the next year will bring, but I can’t wait to find out what adventures we’ll have.

Short Fiction Challenge

Hello, everyone!

Today, author Patricia Josephine is here to talk about the challenges of writing short fiction. It’s all part of the celebration for her latest release, a collection of—you’ve guessed it—short fiction.

The Challenge of Writing Short Fiction

You may think writing a 200-word story isn’t that challenging, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some writers may actually say it’s harder than writing a full-length novel, and I know a few who don’t write shorter fiction because they can’t wrap their brains around it. Their muse only works in long form.

Writing short fiction is different from a novel. With novels, you have an unlimited number of words you can use to paint a picture for the reader. Short fiction you have restrictions on word count. You may only have 1000 words. You can even have as little as 50. When you have that limit, you are forced to choose more carefully. Your strokes have to be broader instead of going into minute details as you can with a novel.

The way I approach short fiction is similar to my novels. I just start writing. I figure out the story as I go and when I get to the end, I edit. I edit until the story is at the word limit I’ve imposed. That’s done by cutting descriptive words. The sentence doesn’t need the color of someone’s shirt for example. Thoughts the character has might get axed as well. If it doesn’t serve the basic story I want to tell, it can go.

Sometimes that doesn’t always work. Sometimes the story I’m trying to tell needs to be longer. When that happens, I stop worrying about word count and let it end as a novella or novel. I have a zombie apocalypse story I hope to release in the future that I initially intended to be 100 words. It ended at over 10,000!

Writing short fiction is a great exercise. It makes you think about word choices and their importance to the story. I encourage anyone who enjoys writing to give it a shot.

Magic.
Myths.
Fantasy.

We are bewitched by what we can’t see.

Conjure delight with a fantastical collection of tales. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to delight your imagination no matter how busy your day is.

Will you believe?

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Patricia Josephine is a writer of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi Romance books. She actually never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she was more interested in art and band in high school and college. Her dreams were of becoming an artist like Picasso. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head for fun. That was the start of her writing journey, and she hasn’t regretted a moment. When she’s not writing, she’s watching Doctor Who or reading about serial killers. She’s an avid knitter. One can never have too much yarn. She writes Young Adult Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

WEBSITE | PATREON | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER GOODREADS | AMAZON | SMASHWORDS | DRAFT 2 DIGITAL

Bad Fairy Strikes Again

Hello, everyone! Today, I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Elaine Kaye’s latest release—Bad Fairy Strikes Again! Elaine is one of my very favorite people, and I’m so excited for her.

Keep on reading for all the details about the story (psst—it’s on sale right now!) and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end…

 

 
 
 
Bad Fairy Strikes Again
A Bad Fairy Adventure Book 2
by Elaine Kaye
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
 
 
Thistle Greenbud thought the nickname Bad Fairy was behind her, but she can’t escape it. Someone is spreading a rumor about her that just isn’t true and can ruin all of her hard work in getting into Advanced School. What fairy would do such a thing? As if that’s not bad enough, Thistle’s dad goes missing. Not a single fairy in Tinselville has seen him. He’s vanished like pixie dust. Her mom is distraught, and Thistle is worried. Where could he be? Thistle and the Flutters, along with Dusty and Moss, are on both cases. Can they find out what happened to her dad and solve the Bad Fairy rumor? Thistle hopes so!
 
 
**Only .99 cents!!**
Add to Goodreads
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Bad Fairy
A Bad Fairy Adventure Book 1
 
 
Thistle Greenbud is not a bad fairy. She simply doesn’t like rules, and it’s just her luck that her homework is to create a new rule for the fairy handbook. But first, she has more important things to do. Like figure out how to get back at Dusty and Moss for playing tricks on her.
Before she can carry out her plan, though, disaster strikes and she finds herself working alongside the very fairies she wanted revenge on. Can they work together and trust each other, or will things go from bad to worse?
 
 
**Only .99 cents!!**
Add to Goodreads
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo
 
 
 
 
 
Elaine Kaye is the author of A Bad Fairy Adventure series AND A Gregory Green Adventure series. She first created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup, thus inspiring the story Pea Soup Disaster.
Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher’s assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.
 
 
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
 
 
 
 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
 
3 signed paperback picture books (Pea Soup Disaster, The Missing Alphabet, Slow Poke), 
three handmade bookmarks, plus a goodie bag and worksheets.