Creating Some Quiet Time

As I sit here sipping my coffee and trying to think of something to write, I hear my husband play GTA Online, same as everyone else in this house, and I am reminded of why it’s important to carve out some quiet time.

Just a small hour or so where you don’t worry about anyone or anything to focus on something you enjoy. I usually use this time to play a video game and browse Youtube videos but whatever. I don’t typically focus on writing or blogs unless there is something that I really want to write and I def don’t focus on house work.

Mostly because I’ve started waking up earlier in the morning then the rest of the family and I know if I attempt any kind of housework one or both of the kids will wake up, and boom, no more private time.

This started because before the pandemic I would have most of the day to do whatever with the kids and husband at work, but now that isn’t so much an option.

As an introvert I need my quiet time. If I don’t get at least an hour to myself I usually wind up feeling overwhelmed and I start either shutting down or snapping at people for no reason.

And my kids really don’t deserve that.

So, I wake up earlier, drink my coffee, and enjoy some mindless fun on my computer before its time to wake everyone else up. Towards the end of that free time I usually wind up listing out what needs to be done for the day and find myself ready and motivated to get through that list.

Especially since all those morning cobwebs are out of my head and the fog has cleared.

The only reason I thought to bring this up is because I woke up this morning with just a few minutes to spare to wake the kids and make them breakfasts before their zoom meetings and school lessons started and it is usually non-stop from there. So I missed my private time and I’ve felt myself in that drag all day where I feel the need to just escape it all because I didn’t have my escape this morning.

Its become an important part of my self care and honestly, probably even after things go back to normal, I’ll be working to carve this time out still because its something I’ve come to depend on.

What’s one small thing that you do to take care of yourself? Do you carve out some quiet time? Go shopping, or some other small thing that allows you to clear your head and focus on your goals?

Let me know in the comments.

Until next time!

Confession Time

I started out as a speculative fiction writer and have some how managed to find myself writing horror based stories. Simply because there is a very thin line between paranormal and horror and at some point you are going to cross it. That and I’ve found I actually enjoy writing in the genre.

Why is this a problem?

Well, I’ve never really been a fan of horror. Sure, I watched scary movies. Some I even enjoyed but I’ve never really dived head first. In fact, my love of scary stories has been a slow decent. I vaguely remember discovering Tim Burton and Ann Rice in high-school and that is about as much creep factor I got in my child hood.

It wasn’t until my senior year that I repeatedly watched Scream and The Haunting because I found them amusing and some what fascinating. Since then I have slowly dipped my toes into watching horror films. And when I say slow, I mean slow.

Like two years ago was the first time I watched Stephen King’s IT – The original film – and now I’ve find myself going through a whole back list of movies and books to figure out what I been missing.
Not that I never read Stephen King. I read his Tommy Knockers in freshmen year and didn’t even get half way through before the nightmares started. So, yeah, I put reading anything of his off for a really long time.

Have I mentioned before that I’m a walking contradiction.

It’s true.

A couple of examples.

I like The Exorcist but refuse to watch The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

I love The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix version) but won’t watch Amityville Horror because it scares me shit-less.

Child’s Play is a fun movie for me to watch but I won’t watch Dead Silence. (In fact I usually don’t watch anything that has to do with dolls or possessions because I’ll be up for nights unable to sleep.)

So how does this help me write horror? I simply take the pieces that I know will keep me up all night and twist them into my own stories. For instance, I’m thinking of writing a bit about dolls.

Why? Because who isn’t scared of a creepy old dolls?

I have started getting through some books and films that truly terrify me just so I can learn how they manage to scare people with their writing and story telling. Hands on learning is always the best way to learn, for me anyways. So yes, this is my writerly confession. Don’t hate me for it. I am trying to work through a long list of old and new classics so that I can up my arsenal in films that truly terrify me while also trying to maintain my sanity.

My next endeavor is to get through the Evil Dead series -bonus point because I’ve already watched the first one- and find a way to watch Little Shop of Horrors. (Told you I have a long ways to go.)

But any who’s.

What are some genres that you’ve found yourself writing or reading that you never found interest in before? What got you interested in them?

Want to check out my recent short story, go check out my story Janet’s Price in Blood and Beetles available on now Amazon.

Our Apocalypse Could Have Been Worse

To say the past couple of months have been … interesting is a bit of an understatement. None of us really expected to be locked up in our homes by mid-march because of some crazy virus that the CDC just couldn’t control. And now we’ve gotten confirmation on UFO’s and Killer Hornets have invaded the US.

Yeah, 2020 is shaping up to be a hell of a year.

Though most of us will admit that its not quite the apocalypse that we wanted. Admittedly some of us we’re really looking forward to zombies in our local area but beggars can’t be choosers. And since lock-down seems to be coming to a close with businesses opening back up in some areas, here’s a few novels that we can be thankful didn’t actually take place.

*** Warning: Possible Spoilers ahead***

  1. Under the Dome by Stephen King – I believe this novel gets over looked simply because it’s one of his newer based ones and the television series made it a bit of an odd film. But Under the Dome is all about a small town that gets cut off from the rest of the world due to some sort of dome being placed around it and it becomes a ticking time bomb as air pollution, lack of oxygen, and morals run low all across the town while people try to discover some way to lift their prison.

    It’s not his most talked about end of the world story like The Stand or The Dead Zone, but it’s definitely up there and worth the read. Considering most of us have gotten that small taste of isolation for ourselves. Thankfully we weren’t cut off from the rest of the world like they were in the novel.

  2. The Murder Complex By Lindsay Cummings – It’s Hunger Games. Kind of. The Murder Complex is all about dystopian future where a plague has devastated most of the world but a unique society that exists in Florida and is run by the murder complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

    This is an interesting take on dystopian world as the two MC’s learn more about each other and their growing distrust of a government that doesn’t care rather any of them live or die.

  3. Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie – This one of those morbid type books that I received in a subscription box and cried buckets of tears over. In this book all the worlds children get sick and die within a day and the story only gets worse from there. With all the illness and loss going on in the world, let’s be thankful that its nothing like the events in this book.

  4. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer– Its never quite stated what happened to the world where the MC Rachel scavenges through, but its a pretty desolate and dangerous place. The story seems to suggest that the biotech corporation destroyed it in some way. Leaving behind tons of biotech that’s just plan dangerous – like the huge bear that floats around the city- and a small little creature called Borne.

    In the end this is a really interesting read that is about learning to love and letting go and seeing the beauty of the world through another person’s eyes. It could also stand as a bit of warning as to what could happen to humanity should large corporations lose control of their creations.

  5. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson – This book is about Neville, who when we first come across him seems to be the last man on earth who is still looking for a cure to the zombie like creatures that now inhabit it. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen the movie, even longer since I read the book, though I vaguely remember hating the movie for not sticking to the book. As it so typically goes.

    But I remember finding it a bit depressing for the simple fact after everything he goes through and discovers, he comes to terms that the “monsters” roaming the earth is the new normal and he’s actually the villain.

    Only depressing when you think that some day or normal will no longer exist and another evolved form of humanity will come through replace all that we know.

BONUS Apocalyptic material.

Death Stranding – I was originally going to keep this post to focus mainly on books that I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed but Death Stranding has a really good message that feel needs to be heard now, more than ever.

Death Stranding is a PS4 video game about a guy names Sam Bridges who is a porter and is tasked with the seemingly IMPOSSIBLE job of reconnecting the world. (Or at least North America) In the game you travel from one coast to the other – over mountains and through the woods- to bring various communities various supplies and connecting them to the Chiral Network all while fighting strange creatures called BTs that you can only see if carrying a BB, MULES that steal your cargo, and rogue porters that are just out to destroy the world for their own means. But all through the game there’s one phrase that is repeated over and over which is “Tomorrow is in your hands.”

Essentially, while you are a single player doing all these missions alone, there’s a constant need to interact with other characters and constantly forcing you to make connections from part of the game to the next. Hell, it’s run on an online system that allows other players to build something that you can use and later add to if you really wanted to. The whole game is about connecting the world and connecting with other people, and reminding all of us that we are stronger together.

A pretty wholesome message for a video game, in my opinion.

If you haven’t checked it out, by all means, go do it. If nothing else you can watch Norman Reedus track across the mountains for a couple of hours…lol…and go check out all the other books listed if you haven’t already.

And remember we’re going to survive these strange times. Together. Stay safe and take care.

Until next time.

Also…this quote from the villain Higgs just rings true on so many levels “Nothing like the eve of extinction to bring focus to the mind. Makes folks honest.” And yes, I totally heard that in his voice. lol

Laying Out Some Plans

Laying Out Some Plans

Yes, I know. I’m doing that dreaded thing where I lay out all of my plans for the next couple of months. I use to do this on a regular basis but soon discovered that I would write everything out, post it, and then nothing would happen. Or hardly anything would happen and I would have to admit how much of a lazy bum I really am.

I think I’ve admitted that plenty here on this blog. It’s no secret that I will procrastinate on a project until the project no longer matters.

I’ve gotten better about this. Meeting the deadline for anthologies that I wish to be published in have really pushed my drive to set a time frame and meet it. Part of the reason I’m doing this goal thing again because there are a couple of anthologies that I wish to attempt to get into this time around.

These deadlines are also the reason I tend to disappear from all other social media for weeks because I’m really bad at clustering my time to work on different projects.

My apologizes.

I’m trying to get better.

So, without further ado, here’s my goals for May and June.

  • Finish this underground novella. – This is a project that I’ve been working on for at least 6 months and you would think after that much time I would be finished but of course I’ve held off until the very last minute. The final call for this novella series is in June and I’m going to hustle to get this one in. Even if it doesn’t get accepted here, I am going to work to get it edited and eventually published on my own simply because I really do enjoy this story.
  • Coffin Blossoms Anthology – This is supposed to comedic horror. And while I’m still relatively new to the whole horror genre I do want to explore what I’m capable of so I’m going to attempt this. So, this is due at the end of May and I’m — once again — going to find out if I’m capable of coming up with something before that end.
  • It Calls From the Sea submission – haha, luckily this one doesn’t open until July and I’ve already gotten something written that I want to try and submit. I just need to go in and re-read, revise and yada yada yada
  • Tick Tock Short- Or another one anyways. I’ve submitted something for this anthology but I’ve been brewing up another idea to send it that might be better than the last. IDK. But luckily it’s only a 500 word submission and typically I can finish that all in one day.
  • Youtube- at least one video up in May and in June. I was doing really good at keeping up with the one video at the end of last year and I then I started buying a house and the moving process and it’s all kind of gone to shit. But that’s life. Best laid plans and all that. Now that I’ve got a schedule with my kids and if I can get my ass out of bed earlier, I might be able to actually do this.
  • Weekly blog posts – This is where planning ahead would actually do me some justice. If I can just spend a couple of hours in the day writing blog posts I would have this made. Admittedly, I’ve got the habit of getting stuck on an idea and not moving away from it until I realize it’s been five hours and only a paragraph is written. Go figure. I will do better.

 

  • Reading at least one book a month- I’ve fallen on the way side of my reading. It’s been a slowly coming to halt for the past year, but has completely stalled out as of now. I realization I had when I moved and came across The Shining that I picked up last February(?) and never actually finished. I’ve read some anthologies and a lot of fan-fiction but not a whole lot of actual books and I need to get back into reading them again. So, here’s my goal post to do that. Starting with finishing the damn Shining!

There is one other goal of actually getting my novel STOP THE RAVEN publish. I was looking into small indie presses and submitting to them but unfortunately most of them have stopped looking at submissions due to shortened staff because of Co-Vid, so the universe has stalled my plans on this one, but I am here to say I’m not giving up on this story. It’s just been temporarily pushed to the side.

There’s also another whole novel that I will eventually get to writing at some point. You see it under the big “Top Secret” in the picture. It’s going to be a fun project idea that my husband gave to me. Just the technical details of the whole thing is what’s putting me off. Maybe for the next –camp nano (?) —or nanowrimo I’ll actually take it on and see what I can do with it.

Those are my writing goals for the months of May and June. I will check in when June has finished to inform you what has happened and what hasn’t. Keep in my mind I’ve got personal goals and basic life mixed in there as well, so of course some of these things may just end up pushed to the side.

Crossing my fingers that I manage to find the time and energy to do all these things however.

Until next time

5 movies that I’ve seen but haven’t read the books to.

5 Movies that I’ve seen but haven’t read the books

So as a general rule that I’ve kind of adopted when I was in high school was if there was a book based on a movie I would try to read the book and then watch the film, or watch the film and then read the book.

I’ve mostly succeeded in this venture.

There are several books that I can honestly say are far better than the movie. (Honestly, we can say this about a lot of books to movie adaptions.) But there is, of course, a handful of films that I watched before I read the books, or even knew they were books. It’s only a recent discovery that I learned they will sometimes base a book off of a movie. Suicide Squad is the movie to book adaption that made me aware of this practice. Why bother is beyond me, but whatever.

There are some books that I haven’t bothered reading simply because I’ve already seen the movie or television show and don’t want the movie ruined for me.

(I’ve also refused to watch The Book Thief simply because I loved the book and don’t want it ruined. Go figure.)

But here’s a list of five books that I haven’t read simply because I’ve watched the movie. (I might be confessing some book lover sin here, but here we go.) I should have it noted that I do own all of these books and keep them for one reason or another.

  1. Day After Tomorrow – I have no complaints about this movie. As far as apocalyptic films with original end of world plotlines go, it’s great. I found the book several years ago in a freebie bin and grabbed it up. It’s since sat in boxes and later on a shelf for the past couple of years collecting dust. At one point I said I was going to get to it but let’s be honest here, do we ever get to those “eventually” TBR’s.
  2. Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – This is another one of those books I meant to read and have attempted to on several occasions. Perhaps it’s the way Douglas Adams wrote his books that I’ve found it difficult to get into. Don’t get me wrong. I love the story and I’ve watched the movie several times but I just don’t see it happening unless the world actually does come to an end.
  3. Matilda – A childhood favorite and a book that I’ve had since… childhood. This is one of those books that my mom bought me when she realized how much I loved the movie and attempted to read but couldn’t get into it. Think eight years old me trying to picture a movie that I’ve already watched a dozen times and didn’t like it when things started changing. This was back when my love for reading was just starting and my attention span not that great. I’ve kept for sentimental reasons but don’t ever see myself reading it now.
  4. Death Note – Seeing as this one of my all-time favorite anime’s you would think I would have read the mangas. But no. Yet another series of books that I’ve started to read and for whatever reason just haven’t finished. Considering there are twelve books in this series and at the time of falling in love with the anime I was just plain broke. I could always go back one day and get the complete series and read them. Lord knows I love the movies (Japanese version not that one that Netflix put out.) as well as the anime itself.
  5. Pet Semetary – Honestly don’t know why I haven’t read this one yet. It’s a Stephen King novel and I do I love his books, but its either because the hype for it hasn’t been all that great or I’ve seen the movie (newest adaption anyway) and wasn’t all that impressed. The only thing that even remotely frightened me was the relationship between the mom and her older sister. (Or lack thereof.) Either way, it’s on my TBR just somewhere at the bottom when I run out of everything else.

So, yes those are five books that I have seen the movie adaptions and just haven’t bothered to read them. Some of them I might get some flake for but oh well. Whatever some books that you’ve seen the movie adaption to and just haven’t bothered to read the books, or vise versa? Maybe you have a favorite book that you refuse to ruin with a movie. Just let me know in the comment and until next time.

Cabin Fever

Week two of officially being settled into the house and now the cabin fever is setting in. I’ve unpacked all the boxes, even went through several boxes that I’ve had stored away for years, and got rid of a bunch of stuff. (Have I mentioned I maybe a borderline hoarder. Yeah. Anyways.)

But now I’ve run out of things to do.

To top it off, my husband’s vacation started over the weekend, so we’re on day 3 of no where to be together.

I could write but I don’t really have too much inspiration. When I do the kids are right behind me wanting something and I lose my train of thought. Needless to say I’ve started wandering around the house looking for other things to do.

The gist, the kids room is clean and tomorrow I may or may not tackle that pile of clean clothes I’ve been meaning to put up. (Yes, I’m one of those people.)

Yep, you read that right, I managed to kick the kids out of their room for a whole hour to get their room clean and now they’re back in there and lord knows how long that’s going to last.

We even sat on the porch this morning, snacked on some popsicles, and played I Spy after going for a short walk around the neighborhood. Not to bad for a Wednesday morning.

With all that being said. I’m still looking for some other things to do. I might wind up doing some videos for Youtube. Something fun and exciting to get out of this bored rut that I’m in at the moment.

The past week though I’ve been listening to quite a bit of music. Not surprising considering all the unpacking and cleaning I’ve been up to. I’ve got to keep my mind occupied some how and came across a few songs that I thought would be fun to share with you guys.

Most all of it is upbeat and keeps me moving as I focus on other tasks.

I also want it noted that I usually listen to alternative and rock but here lately I’ve been in a country mood and so most of this is country music…..

Joe Diffie’s – Third Rock From The Sun ( This is just for fun plus R.I.P to this great artist that we’ve recently lost.)

Patty Loveless – I Try To Think About Elvis ( I know this is some kind of love song, but still relevant to current conditions.)

Mary Chapin Carpenter – I Feel Lucky (How most must feel just running to the corner store now and days.) or how about we listen to  Down At The Twist and Shout for some inspiration for what to do when we’re allowed to go dancing again.

Matchbox Twenty – Unwell (Because I know we’re all going a little crazy trapped inside and it can be kind of depressing if we don’t keep busy.) There’s also their song How Far We’ve Come if you are looking for something a little more upbeat!

Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure (Cause times are rough right now and we need to support each other.)

That’s it. That’s my list for the week! I hope you enjoyed it (maybe even gone off and found some old favorites through the list) and I hope everyone is taking care of themselves and their family and staying safe during these odd times.

One small announcement I’ve got my short story Janet Price’s coming out in the Blood and Beetles Anthology next week on April 18th. You can pre-order it here!

Until next time!!!

Closing Old Doors and Opening New Ones. (Literally)

I went on a bit of a hiatus for the past two weeks because I moved.

My husband and I have been together for 10 years and one of the main things we’ve always talked about doing was buying our own home. Of course this crazy dream of ours would happen just as the world shuts down, but here we are.

We bought our own home and barely managed to move into it before my home town decided to declare a Stay-at-home order. So we get to fully settle into our new home and enjoy it… locked inside… with the kids.

Yay!!!

Leaving our old home was kind of a bitter sweet moment. We spent four years in that apartment. It was in that apartment, in my little space next to the hall, that I penned STOP THE RAVEN and several other short stories. I got my first short story accepted for publication there (got the email while browsing FB at midnight and woke my husband up because I was so excited) and my first query rejection. Started this blog, my Youtube channel and my twitter account all in that spot.

Met a many new online friends that I love talking to on the daily. (And am missing sorely because I’ve been so disconnected from the online world.)

A couple pics of the old set up

In that home, we planned and took our first trip to New York. (Well my first trip, my husbands been there before.) My youngest started school there, my oldest brought his friend over for the first time in that apartment. We had our last Thanksgiving with my mother in law before she passed in that space.

To say that saying good-bye to that place was easy would be a lie. But at the same time, I’m excited that I can now call a home mine. I can shape into what I want without restrictions. (Mostly… there’s still city codes and yada yada…but you know) And we can set down some roots and settle into a place.

My kids will have a place to fully grow up in and come back to when they are older and its exciting and nerve wrecking all at once.

We’ll make new memories here, start up new traditions, happy ones to boot.

Especially since Corona isn’t letting us out any time soon.

It’s strange sitting a new spot. We’ve turned our third bedroom into a game room / office (For the husband mostly) But I’m in here. In a little corner that I can call my own and it’s a bit of an adjustment. I don’t have the kids hanging over my shoulder like I used to because we were in the living room. I don’t have them flying by from their bedroom through the hallway.

I can shut the door and block them out if I really wanted to but the noise has always been a welcome background. (I grew up in a loud, busy family so quiet tends to throw me off.)

There’s going to be an adjustment period, I already know this but as I hang up pictures and find new places for everything it’s starting to feel more and more like home. And in no time I’ll be back into some kind of an old routine and thing will settle down enough that I can get back into some kind of writing schedule, that’s been uprooted thanks to forced homeschooling. But it writing will happen. I already find myself going stir crazy from not being able to sit down with my characters and write their stories.

So anyways, I’m going to wrap up this post. There are some announcements that I failed to upload in the past couple of weeks.

One is Love and Hate from the Dark Drabbles series has been released. It was released on Mar. 17th, but I believe I was pulling a muscle carrying a dresser on that day so I’m letting you know now but I’ve one in each and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about them so go and check them out since you’ve probably got no where to go anyways.

They are both available on Amazon and through the website.

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Also the 9th installment of the Dark Drabbles series, OCEANS will be released on April 14th. I’ve got 4 drabbles in that one and am excited to get a hold of other stories as well.

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Also, also Blood and Beetles is to be released on April 18th with a short story called Janet’s Price by yours truly. Pre-order is now available. And if you are interested check out the first installment of this series, Death and Butterflies

So as you can see even though the world is slowing down the world of publishing is not.  I hope everyone is being safe and taking all the necessary precautions during this time of uncertainty and until next time.

Attempting ARK Survival Evolved: Initial thoughts.

Attempting ARK Survival Evolved:

Initial thoughts.

 

Something that I enjoy when I’m not stressing about the next story is playing video games. Usually, my go-to is the Sims.

Very Generic.

Simple.

Something I can pay half-assed attention to while I’m watching whatever television show I’m currently binging. But on occasion, I do tend to play other games. Like recently I’ve attempted to play Ark: Survival Evolved.

I know the games been out for a few years but if you haven’t heard of this game think Naked and Afraid on steroids. You spawn on this island (or whatever map you choose.) and you’re left to your own devices. There’s no tutorial. No hint button will show you what the next step is. (There is a guide to all the controls in options but who pays attention to this when you’re playing the first time.)

Nah, you’ve got to figure out how to create weapons, gather food and survive the weather all while keeping an eye on the DINOSAURS!

That’s right.

I believe that’s the main appeal of the game is that you are living in a world of dinosaurs. Where you can hunt and tame them. Use them to take over other tribes or just find yourself a little piece of land and farm and breed them. Just whichever you decide. Most of them can be tamed. In fact, I believe the higher level you are, you can tame just about any one of them. As long as you can remember which dinosaurs are herbivores and which are carnivores. So there’s that slight educational premise if you’re into that sort of thing. I am. I love it when I can learn something from a game or a book.

Except maybe the poop slinging one, that one I tend to just run from.

No siree. I ain’t even attempting that one.

So, yeah.

That’s the gist of the game.

Or so I believed.

I’ve seen people play this game off and on over the past year, it’s popular over on Twitch, and believed that was the appeal. Just improving your skills to build better houses and weapons and just surviving. Sometimes with groups of people since there is a social aspect to the game in that you can play with other players and create a tribe to take on other tribes. Or you can play it in single player.

Whichever you prefer.

I’ve even seen people actually collect some of the more rare creatures or items in the game and reproduce the products to sell off to other players. (Yeah, that’s right. This game is so popular people can use it as a form of income by selling off products. Not that I’ve got the patience to do so, but it’s an option if someone else does.)

It wasn’t until I was looking up how-to guides on Youtube that I realized there’s a storyline to this game and possibly a boss to beat. That completely changed the game for me because now I’ve got something to work up to besides just running around this island, ( which I’m constantly getting lost on because I can’t even see my in-game map because I’ve gone from 1st POV to 3rd POV and can’t seem to get back,) and try not get eaten by the piranha’s every time I head into the water for a drink.

So, I’ll give the game a go. Try to figure out this story aspect and attempt to build a bow and arrow. Maybe even a fort and start farming on this island. You know, give the game a go and possibly beat the main monster. I don’t know. We’ll see.

And yes, I know, I did mention I played Sims and that doesn’t really have an end goal in mind when you first start it up unless you’re playing a challenge but whatever. The Sims is relaxing. Being chased by a T-Rex in your underwear isn’t exactly relaxing.

So, that’s my initial thoughts on the game. If you are interested in trying this game for yourself, it is available on Steam, Xbox, Ps4, and Windows. Sometimes it goes on sale, which is why I purchased it, but something to check out if you’re into RPG games that don’t hold your hand and force you actually pay attention.

Have you played this game? If so, any fun experiences?

And are there any other games you like to play?

Until next time.

Authors That Inspire -Courtney A.K.A Lyra Parish

Authors that Inspire

Courtney

A.K.A Lyra Parish

So this round of Authors that Inspire is going to be a bit closer to home. As in focusing on an Authortuber that I discovered last year and have since kept a close eye on.

Courtney goes by two pen names. Lyra Parish is the name she uses for her long list of romance novels and then she also goes by Kennedy Fox for the novels she writes with her co-author Brooke Cumberland. Brooke and she have received the title of USA Today Best Selling Authors and her own books have been on the top 100 Amazon lists.

To say she’s achieved quite a lot is an understatement, but what makes her an inspiration is she shares all of the knowledge she’s gained from her years of self-publishing on her Youtube channel, TheCourtneyProject. Everything from the ups and downs of self-publishing to marketing and writing advice. In the past year, she’s showed us how she manages a full-time job, writing career and family.

Steadily cataloging her journey to show others that it can be done with just a bit of persistence.

What made me focus on her this month is she’s recently reached that coveted title of “Full-Time Author.”

Sometime last year she mentioned all of her plans for making this happen in a video. From ensuring she still had health care to some kind of saving back up. So it’s not like it was a spur of a moment decision.

She’s worked and planned for this.

Kudos to her.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of videos she puts out now that she’s gone to the full-time author and now that writing is her full-time job. Perhaps a shift in content but either way it’ll be an interesting transition and I wish her all the luck in the world on this new endeavor.

I know some of us have that dream of living off of our writing and I’ve seen some publish one or two books and decide that that’s all they need to succeed without a full-time job. Reality bites in that it takes a lot more effort than this.

To see someone work up to it and prepare for it is refreshing in that you get that feeling that it’s not a “whatever happens, happens” type of feeling. This is something that you can see succeeding and therefore far more hyped for it.

Not that spur of the moment decisions is a bad thing.
Hell, my whole life is just one spur of the moment decision after another that’s so far going really well for me, but that’s beside the point.

But when you’re thinking of a future in a career field that has a long list of one and done’s, it’s nice to see someone work for the long haul and succeed at their dreams.

So, with all that said, if you wish to learn more about Courtney and her writing projects, or just want to check out her advice videos head on over to her Youtube channel, TheCourtneyProject. Shes also got a website under the same name and you can find all of her books on amazon under Lyra Parish and Kennedy Fox.

What are some goals that you’re working on in your writing career?

Are you living your dream or working your way towards it one word at a time?

Let me know in the comments below and until next time!

Writing Everyday Vs. Not

I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. When I was posting on Wattpad I wrote thousands of words and popped out multiple chapters every day.

They weren’t edited and their no longer available, but I did that.
It also caused me burn out so bad that I took a year off. Not that I’m complaining. I watched a ton of really good shows that helped refill that well of inspiration that completely drained when I was doing all that writing though.

Doctor Who and Breaking Bad among some of those greats!
When I did pick up writing again I tried to throw myself back into it. Force myself to write every single day like I used to and found the more I tried to force myself to write the more I seemed to hit that famous brick wall. It would also frustrate me because I felt like I was failing as a writer and put me off of writing for the rest of the week.

Needless to say, it stopped me from being productive in any way shape or form. I’ve learned that whatever motivation burned through me all those years ago literally burned through me. Now I’m lucky if I can push out a good two-thousand a week. That’s if I’m writing every other day, or at least pushing through one good day of writing. Then I usually wind up avoiding any form of writing the next day. (I told you my motivation was shot.)

There’s an incentive to both ways.

If you’ve got multiple responsibilities, then yeah, sometimes it can make sense to only write a bunch of words in one day. Getting through your word count all at once allows you to focus on other things. Which is especially helpful if you’ve got a full-time job, school, kids, or all three. You know. Adult stuff that happens.

I especially got to give props to those people that can manage 10k in one workday. Like wow. Kudos to you.

But working on your MS in bits is just as great. It allows you to focus on smaller bits, work out the details and kinks at a much slower pace, and have a much more put together manuscript at the end of it. Kind of.
I say this only because its recently taking me 4 months to write a 24k novella and I know that if I had buckled down and really focused it would have taken me two. But oh well.

I did have other writing projects, so there was that going on.

All this to say, that there is no right or wrong way to write your story.
Smash it out in a month and edit later. Great!

Take six months to finish that first draft! At that pace, you’ll still beat George R.R. Martin so…Great!!!

You do you and don’t let anyone tell you that needs to be done any other way. As long as the words are getting written and you’re telling the story your way. Whatever works.

Keep writing.

Keep creating worlds

Until next time!