Houses of the Broken and Other Stories

Posts tagged “NaNoWriMo

Back to my roots – Time for Camp NaNoWriMo

I need a kick in the pants after this past year. My head is spilling over with ideas but I can’t seem to transmit them from the chair to the keyboard. Life, as it tends to do, keeps getting away of my long evenings in coffee shops, wine bars and opium dens…. wait, I never really did any of those things… but I’d like to think I would, given the chance.

I really got my start writing feature length pieces thanks to NaNoWriMo. It took me a few tries to hit 50,000 words, but once I did, there was no going back. Houses of the Broken actually started as a NaNoWriMo project. I won, that year and stared down the path of publishing.

The following year I had the issue of hitting 50k but being nowhere near done! I thought this was a great problem to have… until I tried to pick it up and finish it…. that one may just remain a cliffhanger for a while.

It wasn’t long before the bottom dropped out and life got in the way again. Half way through NaNo I was unemployed and facing an ugly winter. My muse skipped town, and that flighty little minx hasn’t come back to roost since then – longer than I’d like to admit. The ideas are there but they’re trapped under the ice of reality, waiting for her radiant warmth to break them out and set them free.

So,  thought I might try to get my muse in to boot camp. Thankfully Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! I’m a new camper, I haven’t tried this event before but I’m hoping it’s just the right amount of peer pressure to work in to my busy summer schedule. With any luck, soon people far and wide will be reveling in my unnatural love for woodchippers and creative problem solving.

Until then, if you see my trixie little muse, by her a one way ticket home.

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NaNope

This is National Novel Writing Month… a month that has been sacred to me for years now. It’s a special time when all of my friends and family know to bugger off and leave me alone while I WRITE STUFFS!

It’s been good, it’s been bad, it’s been ugly, but I’m proud to say that over the past few years, despite life being life, I’ve managed to at least hit 50k when it was down to the wire. I work good under pressure, and I know it. And usually, I can buckle down. Usually…

I’m fairly certain I’ve been writing about 5,000 words a day. The problem is, very little of it has been ‘fiction’. Life turned topsy turvy on me in a very short amount of time. I thought the trip west was going to be my biggest obstacle in this year’s process, and I anticipated having to ‘dig out’ once I got back home. Little did I know, that would be the least of my worries. Long distance travel, jet lag, an ill timed sickness… and that was the easy part. The month was young, I still had time. I could have pushed myself, but I didn’t want to burn myself out too early.

And then…

No job. Just like that. *poof* It’s gone. Well, shit.

I’d love to tell you that my book (Houses of the Broken) was doing well enough that I wouldn’t have to worry about being a cube monkey any more, but that’s not yet the case. Working a day job, finding time to write, blog, promote, live life, sleep, eat, bathe occasionally… it takes a toll. And I’m tired.

Now that I sit with more time on my hands, I still can’t find a moment of peace. Suddenly I’m in a scramble to take care of all the things I didn’t have the chance to fit in to a 24 hour day. Meanwhile, I have to evaluate if I’m ready for a permanent career change, if I’m stuck in a career change whether I like it or not, thanks to the lack of current jobs, or if I just want to throw caution to the wind and do something… different. Really different. Flying without a net different.

*spoilers* I’ve always been the conservative one. Even talking about this makes my heart start to tense up ever so slightly. *thumpthump* Ack.

I should be writing right now, but not writing here. That’s the other part of the problem. All this adversity just makes me want to blog, and talk about life and things, and the plight of Generation-X. And maybe wear flannel two sizes too big… I’m feeling nostalgic. I rocked the flannel.

So, this year I get to accept failure. Failure at being an adult, and failure at NaNoWriMo. I’m still chipping away at it, and the good news is, even deep in personal strife, I’m still stacking up the words… just half as fast as usual. I want to just quit, I do… it would be easier. I want to quit everything right now, take my ball, and go home. Maybe hide under the covers too, at least it’s cozy there. I could go for some winter hibernation, hiding from my problems and the difficulties of the real world. Maybe, crazy enough, I will even let myself have some ‘down time’ and not feel guilty about it. Nah. That won’t happen.

At least not until December.


Houses of the Broken

Now available in print, and soon in Kindle format, Houses of the Broken.

Anna Shaw never intended to go home again. On the run from her demons since an early age, she never looked back to her sadistic father and the family she left behind to suffer at his hand. But with age comes the nostalgic longing for the familiar, and after years of distance from her estranged family, the only contact remaining to Anna — her sweet baby sister Lacey– uses their mother’s illness to lure her back into the fold one last time.

What starts as a bittersweet family reunion with her ailing mother and four of the younger siblings Anna so willingly abandoned as a teenager soon becomes a snare of animosity and deceit, proving once and for all that the perverse legacy of their father is more than just skin deep. And when the handsome stranger Anna met on the arduous journey back to her family shows up on Lacey’s doorstep with her vagabond sister, Silver, Anna discovers that her gruesome tendencies are not just hers alone.

With no one left to lead the family, Silver and Anna fiercely struggle for control of a twisted birthright. Anna must face a difficult reality that gives her only one choice to stop the fraternal darkness from spreading, setting off a chain of events that will leave her an unsure fate and no place left to call home.

Houses of the Broken is currently available at the following outlets:

Houses of the Broken on CreateSpace

Houses of the Broken on Amazon

 


Burden of Proof.

It has arrived. Snuck right up behind me, in fact, a day early. My hands trembled in excitement as I tugged at the packaging. In a moment, the reveal. Glossy cover, straight spine, not a bad heft… my PROOF is here.

I flipped through the pages, surveying what I could at a glance. Text right? Check. Images formatted? Check. Any obvious glitches? Nope. So far so good. Closer inspection… where did that ‘s’ go… gah, there’s another one missing…

Yes, there are typos. After all the eyes and editing, there are still typos not willing to reveal themselves until they’re in glaring black and white. But I’ll find them., as many as I can. I still have time.

There will be tweaks inside and out. Little things. Picky things. Things to add more polish and shine, but overall I am very very pleased. And soon it will be ready for public consumption.

But will the public be ready?


May Day

I disavow any knowledge of April. It’s dead to me. Water under the bridge. A pillar of salt in the rear view mirror, if I was to look…

ABNA was the least of my obstacles this past month. (There I go immediately talking about what I just swore I wasn’t going to talk about…) April really doesn’t deserve a recap, so it’s not going to get one. I will just bask in the sunny glory that is May for today, and savor it. The light is at the end of the tunnel and a little mental recoup is hopefully on its way.

It finally quit snowing… for a few days… I’ll take what I can get at this point. Any day I don’t have to scrape off my windshield is a good day at this point. All of this may have been telling me that I need to revisit my first complete NaNo (that rarely gets talked about and/or admitted to): Mother Nature, Inc. It’s been sitting in the shame pile for a couple years now but never quite quit nagging at me. Might be time to give it a fresh look and a serious scrubbing.

As always, too many ideas, not enough time. But now I can make espresso at home… who needs sleep?