Happy Friday! It’s time for the MFRW 52 week blog hop for 2018!! YAY!
This week’s prompt: What I would do If I couldn’t be a writer.
Who is the evil person who thought up this prompt??? This is the stuff of nightmares! Are they a horror writer? Was it Stephen King? OR maybe it was a descendent of H.P. Lovecraft.
If I couldn ‘t be a writer, I would probably have pursued teaching as my second career choice. I worked as a civil servant for the department of defense, my degree is in cartography. Back in those days, I was firmly convinced that science was where the money was at, and only pure genius writers could earn a living actually writing.
Well the years start coming and they don’t stop coming Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running Didn’t make sense not to live for fun Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb So much to do, so much to see So what’s wrong with taking the back streets? You’ll never know if you don’t go You’ll never shine if you don’t glow
I digress. . . but, All Star seriously sums it up. Getting on the career track, following the ruts, doing the things you think you are supposed to do and then somewhere down the road you run out of gas, and look around and realize this isn’t where you wanted to be.
I was late in the game to allow myself to pursue my dreams of writing. I don’t know, I guess with my upbringing and the push for success, I didn’t allow myself to chase dreams. I was already labeled a daydreamer, and I resented that my mom said it with an air of disdain.
Yes, I have mother issues. I’m dealing with it!
So, after Ellie version 2.0, stay at home mom left me with time to read, time to do crafts, sew, crochet, . . .did I mention read???? I read voraciously. I read to my kids. My eldest daughter’s favorite book was Moo Bah, LALALA. I can recite it from memory. My youngest daughter’s favorite was Goodnight Moon. I can also tell that one from memory.
When we ran out of books to read before it was time to go back to the library, or we had exhausted our home library I began making up stories to tell them and they liked mine better! It gave me the boost I needed to pursue my writing aspirations.
About that time, an opening came up at our local paper to write an opinion column. Trust me, I have an opinion! LOL
When both of my kids were in school, I started substitute teaching at their school. There were certain parts of the substituting that I really enjoyed. So if I couldn’t write, I probably would have pursued teaching science at the junior high level.
I’m sure it would have paid better, and set my husband’s mind at ease. He tries to be supportive, but the unknown factor of writing is whether or not people will buy your book.
Money isn’t everything, but it sure helps out to pay the bills and buy groceries! Hence I keep the dayjob as mortgage loan officer until my books fly off the shelf!
It could happen!!
Never say never! It’s the beginning of a new year, a time to dream and let your hope rise! What would you do if you couldn’t pursue your dreams? Would you vet your creative interests in another direction or shelve them?
So here we are with Ellie version 3.0 – author, editor, mortage loan officer, blogger – doing what I love, trying to manage my time effectively to get the things done!
Go check out what the other authors are saying, you can find that list here: MFRW BLOG HOP
Guess what? MFRW is doing a 52 week blog hop for 2018!! YAY!
TO kick things off for the new year, this is my first week post for that blog hop.
The prompt is: Week 1: Favorite thing I’ve written (and why)
Sometimes I take off running with these prompts only to find that I went in a totally different direction than everyone else participating in the bloghop.
So, let’s first address the obvious qualifier – the favorite thing I’ve written that’s published.
Roxy Sings the Blues – ultimately this is a tale of overcoming insurmountable obstacles, a tale of triumph. It also has elements of romance, intrigue, and a few bits of humor.
The reason this is my favorite over my other published book, Red Wine & Roses, or 30 DAys of Sass is that I feel I worked very hard on fully developing the characters in this one. I spent a lot of time trying to capture the emotional punch and I feel I nailed it!
I think my writing has improved greatly from my first book, and I hope that I continue to improve as time goes by.
Now the less obvious, more obscure point that my brain seems to gravitate towards first – my favorite bits that I have written and as yet is unpublished.
*Clears throat* You’ll have to excuse me for a bit while I gush.
I am excited about my Realm Wars series. It started with Faere Guardian, the first draft was a Christian fiction that lacked . . . everything. I had to change so many things to fit into the Christian bookseller’s association guidelines for publication, that much of my story was lost.
For example – the list of words NOT allowed is lengthy. I couldn’t use Angel for my character’s name and I didn’t want to change her name, she is paid to screw things up for Kyle and throw incredulity on his name and mess things up between Kyle and Lindsey.
Then I wrote Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price. OK, I may have ventured off into the erotica little too deeply for this one to be mainstream, but the essential tale of the McIntyre brothers has to be told. I will probably give this a heavy edit and make it more mainstream friendly.
Then of course, there is the sister – Brigit. Faere Mage is filled with antics of the up and coming Druid mage, and the Faerie Realm underlying meddling in human affairs. We can’t forget the original brothers Robert, Ian, and Alistair who is the first generation McIntyres.
How did they become keepers of the realm? Who are they protecting? DO they work for the FAE? Do the FAE work for them?
Come on, I know you’re interested!
I submitted the trilogy (Books 2 through 4) for publication to three different publishers. My social media coach at the time read it and said – “Well, it doesn’t suck!”
LOL But, with the myriad of questions thrown at me, I was able to answer them all. This was a problem though, because she then told me that I need to tell the backstory that ties them all together, and unites the greater story that is going on. SIGH I had spent a week cutting out the backstory and paring it down to a reasonable length.
This is why it is yet unpublished. However, I plan to change that this year. I will have the first book written and revised some time this year. I have to check my calendar in order to get a definite deadline. (Don’t worry, it’s on my todo list!) Books 2 through 4 are already written, they may need a few tweaks but for the most part are already complete. Also, The Blood Key – the novella I have been working on will be released in an anthology- I HOPE!
Fingers crossed that I make the cut! If not, I will still release it as a short available for my readers.
I’ve shared a few snippets in the past from this series, and I feel this is some of my best writing. When you feel like you’ve done your best, then it’s easy to pick that as your favorite!
Realm Wars writing has been in the zone. Red Wine & Roses had bits in the zone, but not the entire thing. Same for Roxy, more of it was in the zone, but not all of it.
Realm Wars is the type of stuff I love to read – paranormal fantasy, urban fantasy, epic fantasy type stuff. I’m probably not going to be writing the epic space odyssey, well maybe not.
I’m pretty proud of the world building I’ve done in this series as well. I keep saying series and as of yet, not one book is released. BUT, when I get the covers nailed down, and the first book completed, books 2 through 4 will not be far behind. Books 5 and 6 may take me a while, but I already have my outlines. I promise not to pull a George R. R. Martin! Unless of course someone buys the film rights and pays me handsomely to produce an epic saga of Realm Wars, paying me royalties and megabucks up front. Then I’ll finish the last two books in the series from an island oasis in the Caribbean!
Never say never! It’s the beginning of the new year, a time to dream and let your hope rise!
IF you want to check out what the other authors are saying is their favorites, you can find that list here: MFRW BLOG HOP
Today is the 52-week MFRW blog challenge, Week 34 – Open Doors or Closed Doors?
I have a small confession to make. I often think in song. It’s true! Just about any topic, and my mind goes to song lyrics. Maybe it’s all those musicals my Mom used to watch on TV. Maybe it’s the musicals we went to the Muny to see. (ST. Louis Municipal Theater, Forest Park) Maybe it’s the eighteen years of piano lessons, ten years in band counting college, or maybe it’s just an annoying quirk that I have. It drives the hubs bat sh** crazy.
See what I mean?
I’m sure you can make the leap of why my mind went automatically to The Doors given the prompt. I mean come on, that was an open door! *snorts*
But what if that wasn’t what the MFRW challenge
had in mind? Hmmmm.
It’s a horrible thing, this ADD brain of mine. Look- Squirrel! Back to the topic – doors. How can any writer worth their salt not think of JRR Tolkien in reference to doors?
I put the thought on the back burner while I attempted to upload my new book to Createspace. I say attempted because my laptop is not cooperating with Adobe flash player, and it won’t let me review the insides. It simmered back there for a few hours.
*ding* It’s soup!
What if . . . yeah, I could go with that. Since this blog challenge is related to romance writing, maybe I should share about doors in that field.
In 2015, I had made myself a resolution that I would submit my manuscripts to publishers through July and if none were accepted, I would attempt the self-publishing route.
I have regularly submitted articles to magazines and online magazines. It’s similar but different to novels. I sent Kiss of the Dragon off to 3 publishers and got two rejections and one – if you rewrite the entire thing and change the characters then we will review it again. That kind of changes the entire story, don’t you think? I shelved it.
I sent Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price off to 2 publishers. One rejection, one – if you add the backstory in and set this as maybe the second or third book in a series, and make the overall story the realm war, then we would be interested in the series. I was on cloud 9!!!
I worked on it diligently, had the foundation story down, made the suggested tweaks to it, then had a falling away with an individual who unbeknownst to me was part owner of this small publishing house. Offer retracted. Sigh. Project shelved.
I sent 3 other stories off to publishers, some were unsolicited to houses that it was a long shot; nothing. I submitted to a specific call for romance shorts, nothing. I submitted to a call for a BDSM short, made the first round, then was cut in the second round.
I nearly quit. I thought I’ll just write for myself and file them away and maybe some day when I am dead my kids will find my manuscripts and read them and think they might be worth publishing.
I was ready to throw in the towel on getting any books published. I had been successful in article writing for the newspaper, maybe that was all I was cut out for. My dreams ‘done fell through’.
In my morning sprint group, the wonderful ladies encouraged me to keep writing and suggested that I consider self-publishing. I have to be honest, I had a tainted view of this. I thought self-publishing was Vanity Press. Most of the people I knew that published books were through vanity press and they were a joke. Not to make light of their accomplishments!
Several church friends published their books, most of which was their life story. They sold a few at a table at church when they were first published then ended up with boxes of books in their garage or basement. I didn’t want to be that person.
Then I started seeing more and more fiction writing in the Indy market. I finally bit on a friend’s novel about zombies and I loved it. It was hysterical! They convinced me to consider it. So, back to the time line – I told myself if I didn’t get a contract by July, I would pursue the Indy market.
I finished my first book Red Wine & Roses. OK, it wasn’t the first story I finished, but those were rejected and I was told to revise them, rewrite them or add X amount more to them. I made a post on Facebook that I had finished it! An individual whom I had worked with on the group blog got in touch with me for Eclectic Bard Books. AN OPEN DOOR!
I jumped through that door so fast it made my head spin. It was a whirlwind of deadlines, demands, and then nothing. We came to a mutual point of not renewing the contract and they were gracious enough to release the rights to my story. I am truly grateful for that and the opportunity. I learned a lot, but small house publishers . . . CLOSED DOOR! Locked, bolted, NOPE!
I learned a lot through that experience. Some good, some bad, all of it memorable.
I have edited some truly crap writing. I have also had the privilege of editing some great writing. In both cases, the author was confident enough in their work, even if I thought it sucked, (hello – there, their, they’re; to two too; affect, effect; was/were; numerous cases of that doesn’t mean what you think it means; and sex scenes that read like a clinical post rape exam – shudders)
Yet, they were determined to get their baby out there. What was I so afraid of?
Life has a way of impressing upon you what is really important. I had been making excuses for not finishing my work, and not focusing on one project. I was a story polygamist. Either I wanted to do this or I didn’t, which is it?
My second book, a nonfiction humor collection of posts that started on my blog was my first shot at going Indy. Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass: I got the formatting wrong, got the margins wrong, but I learned. Soon I was able to get Red Wine back out there under my name.
I continue to learn. This year, life smacked me around pretty hard but it drove home the point of either do it or shut up. I am going for it! There is still an open door, I’m going to use it.
There are a few other areas of my life that I have made huge revelations in as far as excuses. Some are harder to change than others but not impossible.
I feel like I am getting a second chance in life, I don’t want to waste it. I’ve had some real issues with what our church teaches about personal goals and striving for your own desires. It’s sad that it has taken me this long to get it, but I believe God gives us the desires of our heart. I believe that His word is true. But I also believe that He expects us to work our little or big, fannies off. I don’t think there is anything wrong with personal aspirations – it is what drives us to become better.
Maybe I’m wrong and y’all should pray for me in this. But tell me this, Kurt Warner achieved his goal of becoming a professional football player. How is that OK, yet being an author isn’t? This lack of self-esteem that was established in my young years has somehow made me think that my goals aren’t as important as anyone else’s. That is wrong thinking. I’m shutting that door right now. By doing so, I am opening multiple doors of opportunity.
We are often our own worst enemy. I know I am. I’m the one that put everyone else’s needs above my own. I’m the one who sidelined myself in life. I’m the one who shelved my own dreams. NO MORE!
This isn’t a dress rehearsal, this is real life. We are responsible for what we do with it. I’m not happy with what I’ve done with mine up to this point, so this second chance is a breath of fresh air. It has driven home the point to let things go. Shake it off.
I don’t want my eulogy to be, oh she was nice. I want it to be bolder. I want people to know that I gave my all, pursued my dreams, living life with gusto and no apologies. I’m through apologizing for being me!
This wasn’t the direction that I intended to go, but this is what came out. Doors are apparently a touchy subject with me. Maybe I should have stopped with The Doors. NAH!
Let’s be real. Let’s be authentic with each other.
Life sucks at times, it’s up to us to make lemonade with the lemons we are given.
What doors are you keeping shut? Which ones have you opened? What doors are standing open waiting for you to go through?
There are a lot of other author’s in this blog hop that may have a more sound post. You may want to check them out at:
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