R-Y is for… #AtoZChallenge

See what I did there? 😉

I’m pretty far behind on my A to Z challenge. With going out of town to Sign N’ Sip, things are a little out of whack. With, not only, my blog posts but with my 2nd draft of Runaway Road.

So, first, let me tell you about Sign N’ Sip. It was AMAZING. Seriously, amazing. I stopped off in Wilmington to pick up my friend and aspiring author, Bree. Now, Bree is a bit more involved with the online groups surrounding the authors we were meeting. Me? Not so much.

When we got there, a group of them were downstairs, chatting. Our roommate, Allie, and Bree walked over to introduce themselves.

And that’s when it hit me. I am socially awkward. I clammed up. Stunned and awe-struck.

Kim Holden, writer of Brightside and Gus, was standing up to give me a hug and introduce herself. My nerves were everywhere. Her book changed the way I look at life. I did a review of it here.

I sat off to the side and listened to the conversations, watched from afar with a silly grin on my face.

I needed to loosen up.

So what does one do when they need to do so? I got myself a small drink 😉

It did the trick and I was able to open up a little. Just a little though. I was definitely not the talkative person I am in real life.

I’m still a little shocked on how scared I actually was. I used to have to talk to strangers for a living while hosting trivia in Charlotte. I can strike up conversations with most anyone. And this is while I’m sober! Hell, I do it at work all the time. That’s my job.

I wanted to use SnS for networking purposes, which I did a little of. I still got to meet some awesome people that got my juices flowing again. After walking around for a bit, I sat down next to this beautiful little pond and started writing. I had an idea for a three-part series just while standing in line.

But what I lacked in networking, I got in understanding. I have to be more open about what I do. That’s the difference between me and the successful people in the world. I don’t put myself out there enough. I find that I double back and blow off what I’ve accomplished, which is stupid.

I got to meet Hugh Howey at my store the other week. Super nice guy and he talked to me about what I wrote. I realized later how dismissive I was towards my own work. I’m not going to see much doing that, now am I?

Going forward, a new goal of mine is to be more involved in the online writing community. I have so much going to my advantage that I’m not using. Might as well throw money away.

Are there any things you’ve done to increase your persona on social media? Blogs? Help me out!

Much Love!

Q is for…#AtoZChallenge

Q is for Quitting and Questioning

Worst. Words. Ever.

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t question myself. Why am I doing this? Who cares that I did this? Is this what I’m going to be doing the rest of my life? Is this who I’m suppose to be?

And after each one of those questions, I slap it down with a positive thought…or at least try to.

It’s not easy living with self-doubt, yet we all do. And I think that’s important to know. Even the most strong people have a inkling of self doubt once in a while. I try to remember that and talk to those I trust will understand my worries.

People who will be there to push me through and tell me that it’s just the self-doubt talking, not reality.

Reality is this. I am who I am. I weigh this amount. I speak a certain way. I laugh at certain jokes and I cry at certain things. I love to read and tell stories and I love geeky, childish things.

I am who I am.

So when self doubt gets me questioning myself, tricking me into quitting what I love the most, I step back and find the one positive that will save me.

I remind myself how lucky I am. How blessed I am. And then, I move on.

It’s a mind game and I plan on winning.

Much Love!

P is for…#AtoZChallenge

P is for Playing House.

My baby. My pride and joy.

I was listening to an author on podcast today, talking about her debut novel and the disappointment she couldn’t help but feel over the lack of sales she’s made.

Yes, we’d all love to publish that one novel that just makes it big. right away. (Just see yesterday’s post about The Outsiders.) And we know that it happens. (Thanks E. L. James.)

But you know, with every doubt that pops into my mind about the lack of sales I might have, I take a step back and remember how lucky I am to have published at all.

Authors are wearing their hearts and worlds for all to see. We pour our sweat, blood, and tears into our work, only to worry over the opinions of others.

Remember that the next time you have doubts. You accomplished something huge, something that others are terrified to do. Great job!

Much Love.

 

O is for…#AtoZChallenge

O is for the Outsiders.

Nothing Stay Forever”
“Nature’s first green is gold,
“Her hardest hue to hold.
“Her early leaf’s a flower;
“But only so an hour.
“Then leaf subsides to leaf.
“So Eden sank to grief,
“So dawn goes down today.
“Nothing gold can stay’’.

— Robert Frost

Man, I LOVE this book!

So here’s a quick, little, way overdue, book review.

First off, if you don’t know what it’s about, the Outsiders follows the life of Ponyboy Curtis. He’s the youngest Curtis and lives with his brothers Sodapop and Darry.

They run with a group known as Greasers- the underclass group of street youths. Their rivals, the Socs (or Socials) are the preppy kids who have it all.

The_OutsidersAt first glance, you wouldn’t know how serious this story gets. One night, a fight breaks out between the two gangs and someone is killed, sending Pony and his best friend, Johnny, on the run.

Now, I know this is a young adult book, forced into middle school kid’s hands. Actually, I’m pretty sure I read it in elementary. Anywho, the situations in this book are all too real. The Outsiders deal with death, homelessness, and the fact that every social economic class has problems.

And sometimes, when we look at something or someone from a different angle, we realize we’re not so different from one another.

Take the character Cherry. She’s a Soc by association, in a sense. Ponyboy meets her at the drive in and they hit it off.  She’s kind and talks to him, even though he’s dressed as a Greaser. She doesn’t laugh at the fact that he reads and studies hard. She looks past the fact that he’s poor. She just looks at him.

I think the world has forgotten how to really look at each other. To not judge based on appearance. But to know a person by their heart.

Must be why they have kids read the book to this day. I just hope that they get the lessons in the Outsiders and grow on them.

Much Love

PS- Can I also point out that this was S.E Hinton’s first novel and she wrote it at 16?! If that doesn’t motivate some of you writers to get your work published, I don’t know what will!

Added bonus! Wonder where they got the idea from 😉

*I don't own the rights to this video*

 

N is for…#AtoZChallenge

N is for… News!

For today’s post, I wanted to take a moment and throw out a few updates on my current project list.

And it’s a big one too… (that’s what she said!)

Runaway Road:

My second book is in its 2nd draft form. I plan on having it completed and ready for another round of critiquing in the next few days! 😀 Fingers crossed!

The Murder Trilogy:

So this project is a bit different from the other books I’ve written. Where I feel that I’m more of a happily ever after kind of gal- this one is something off my beaten path. I’m so excited to finish its first draft. It’s been a work in progress for almost a year now and I’ve heard some pretty awesome feedback. Only a few people have read some snippets and all have pushed me to continue. So keep an ear out for that!

Firefly Light:

This is a novella I’m working on for a summer publishing. But looking at the calendar… I’m not sure if that will happen. *womp womp* But putting it out here for all the interwebs to see, I now will hold myself accountable to get it done. Maybe a late summer read will do…

Signings:

Yeah! Signings! I’m trying to put together a “tour” if you will, of signings at various Barnes and Nobles. Spread out over a few months, I want to hit up Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Huntersville, Charlotte, Columbia, Florence, and Charleston! All of these are in the Carolinas. Sign up for my newsletter for more info on where I’ll be in the next few months!*Shameless Plug time: Sign up for my newsletter and get a FREE copy of my short story Aurora*

*Shameless Plug time: Sign up for my newsletter and get a FREE copy of my short story Aurora*

Do you guys have any news to share?

Much Love!