25 May 2016

Two Milestones for the Price of One!

Greetings! It's a special day here at the FFP (wait, I've never called it that before...). Not only is this my 400th blog post, it's also my FIFTH blogiversary. It's been exactly five years since I wrote my first blog post. I can't believe it's been that long, actually, or that I've written that many posts!

So I had a hard time figuring out what exactly I should do for this post. I knew I wanted to do something to celebrate, but nothing as crazy as another Muse Party or some other blogfest. Then I thought I could share some of my favorite posts from over the years, maybe even pick one for certain categories (favorite blogfest, favorite A to Z post, favorite old post with no comments). But then I realized I did something very similar for my third blogiversary. This wouldn't have been a big deal except a lot of the posts or category ideas that came to mind were already listed in that post.

So I decided to tweak the idea just a bit. I decided to just share posts from the last 100. I didn't want to share too many since I know there's no way people will actually go back and read them all, but here are just a few of my favorite highlights from the past 100 posts! (I went backwards chronologically, well, because it was easier to go through the posts that way...)

1. Evolving
My favorite post from this year's A to Z Challenge. Not only do our characters evolve as we continue to write them, but we evolve as writers as well. I always think it's funny when I read something I wrote a long time ago and see how awful it is, when at the time I thought it was fantastic!

2. The Muse Party Blogfest: (Anti-) Valentine's Day Edition
Because I had to! My favorite part may have been making the cartoons...

3. Something Clicked
Just because it was really awesome when this happened and I finally felt like I was ready to write again.

4. My Muse's Boyfriend
Probably the post that made me smile the most. Even though sometimes I want to strangle Adam...that pushy, perfect haired jerk. He's adorable, though. Dammit.

5. Jordan Takes Over: Let Sleeping Muses Lie
Well, I had to include a JTO, of course! While this wasn't exactly his most insightful post, it was definitely the funniest...

Five posts for five years is good, right? I didn't want to go too crazy. Well, that and I've been writing a lot of "woe is me" kind of posts for a while (until post #3 happened, basically). So those are no fun. 400 posts sure feels like a lot, so hopefully I'll still have ideas for the next 100!

23 May 2016

A Post (Because I Have To)

Where the heck did my weekend go?? Seriously, it's like it disappeared into some sort of wormhole. Which is why I'm scrambling to get a blog post done on Sunday night before Game of Thrones starts (because I'm definitely going to bed once it's over). So...greetings from the past! I would wait until Monday to write a more decent post, but I have to work at 6:30. And if I don't get a post out until the afternoon, I may as well not bother. But I could just skip this post altogether, right? Haha, WRONG. I actually have to post today if I want my 400th post to line up with my blogiversary on Wednesday. So there.

Anyway, in case you hadn't figured it out yet, this post is not going to be very substantial. But I guess I will share some cool things with you.

1. I have (mostly) figured out what I want to do for my post this Wednesday. It's extremely similar to what I did for my third blogiversary post, but I figured no one would remember that. Wait, except I just told you. Hmm. Anyway, still figuring out the exact way I want to go about it, but it will be done!

2. In other writing news, I ACTUALLY GOT MY REWRITE OF CHAPTER ONE DONE. Sorry for the caps. It's that exciting. Chapter one was being a bitch (or maybe Jordan was...). But anyway, I got it done and now I can move on. I ended up not writing that little setting snippet yet, mostly because there was way too much going on in the chapter already. I may try to squeeze it in the second chapter, but I think that chapter is already perfect so we'll see. I may just try to write it first and then see where it can fit in.

3. I got my wedding dress! I'm incredibly low maintenance--I only tried on two dresses and ended up going with the first one I tried. Plus I'm thinking it should be fairly easy to pack for the trip to Vegas. Woot. Oh! I didn't even want a veil but my consultant and fiance gained up on me and I bought one anyway (I had no idea he cared about that sort of thing, either). I'm still not sure if I actually want it, but I got it for half off, so it's not a huge deal.

4. I made these awesome brownies over the weekend even though I'm trying to lose weight. They have a peanut butter swirl and Reese's pieces. Because why not? I made my sister keep most of them. Most of them...

5. We recently got a new mattress and a new bedspread so I may or may not be trying to redecorate my apartment. It's difficult because there's not a lot of space in here. But I'm hoping to purge some of the stuff we don't need. And maybe put some shelves up. I've been dying to reclaim my desk to actually use, you know, as a desk. Right now it's on my fiance's side of the bed and is just covered in junk. Having an actual writing space would be awesome. But it's going to be a slow process. We have too much stuff and nowhere to put it! 

Well, I think I'll leave it there before I start to ramble too much. I'll be back on Wednesday for the extravaganza!

16 May 2016

Chipping Away At It

Now comes the time of year where I have zero idea what to blog about! Here goes nothin'...

So I've been slowly trying to get back into the editing groove. Except, well, I've never really had a groove. I usually just wait around for inspiration to strike and then try to milk it for all it's worth, then once it's all gone start all over again. It's really not the best method. Waiting around for inspiration means that you're doing a whole lot of nothing in the meantime.

I'm trying to get in the mindset that it's ok to do a little bit at a time. If you can only get one paragraph done each day, that's still better than nothing. If you wait around hoping to get a lot done at once, you may end up not doing anything at all for most of the time. Just getting a little bit done everyday is still progress, right?

Right now I'm still trying to get through my first chapter revision. One of those random bursts of inspiration helped me get through the first scene, which was great, but that urge to write like crazy fizzled out after a few days. Since then I barely even looked at the chapter. If I kept waiting around for another one of those bursts, then chances are I wouldn't get anything done at all.

So I went back to the second scene. I had a few lines of dialogue already in mind so I started with that. I just imagined what was happening in the scene and started writing. It wasn't a particularly long scene, just enough to introduce some minor characters, really, and a little splash of backstory. But I got through it. I hit another one of my check points. With each one that gets done, I get a little bit closer to the chapter being done. And since this is the hardest chapter rewrite until I get around to the fifth/sixth chapter area, it will be really easy to get a huge chunk of revision done once the first chapter is complete.

So if I break down the first chapter, it looks like this:

1. Classroom scene (DONE)
2. Cafeteria scene (DONE)
3. Possible setting establishing scene (I'm still deciding if I need this but at this point I haven't even mentioned where the story takes place and if it's not in the first chapter it probably won't be mentioned until Chapter 3, which may be weird)
4. Home scene/phone call with mom (Not done)
5. Last scene--characters meet! (Basically done because it doesn't need much rewriting)

SO. Bottom line--one major scene to rewrite and the possible snippet to write and then the first chapter will be done! And then it's on to chapter two, which I literally have one editing note for. So I'm very slowly chipping away at this chapter. Maybe if I think small steps instead of big picture, this will actually get done sometime soon.

In other news, as long as I post something next Monday, my 400th blog post can be next Wednesday, which also happens to be my 5th blogiversary. Sounds awesome, right?? Except I have no idea what to do for it. Something bigger than a regular blog post, ideally, but not nearly as huge as say, a blogfest. I don't know. Suggestions are welcome...or I could totally just phone it in...

09 May 2016

A to Z Reflections 2016

Now that the A to Z Challenge is finally sadly over, it's time to reflect!

Pheeeeeew. Ok. This year was a rough one. I'd like to get through the reflections without getting ridiculously negative. I kind of felt like I was pulling teeth from everyone, including myself, through the whole thing. And I think all of the problems started before the Challenge even began.

I chose my theme, The Revision Project, because at the time I was really excited about revising my novel. I thought that by focusing 26 posts on different topics that all focused on revision, it would help me figure some things out, maybe get some good feedback and new ideas from other people. Well, it didn't exactly turn out as I had hoped, on any of those fronts (for the most part).

Here's where I went horribly wrong. I never fully figured out what the hell I was doing with my posts. I wanted to focus on my book, but the problem is that it's not published and no one has read it yet. So while the topics would all be inspired by it, I still wanted to make the posts more universal so that people could relate. But that made things more muddled. Was I asking for advice or was I offering my own writing tips? Or was I just rambling? For most posts, it ended up being a mixture of the three.

I made it even worse, though, with what I'll call the "bookends" of my posts, both of which left me disappointed. At the end of all the posts, I added on one or two questions to hopefully get people talking in the comments. I think that part worked too well. If I had made these posts completely about offering writing tips, this would have been more successful. People responded with their own ideas and experiences related to the topic, which was great. But on those posts where I was really searching for feedback on my own work, those questions seem to lead people away. It was hard to get actual feedback, and on this point, I think my whole theme was flawed. How can you get real feedback on something that is completely out of context? Which just leads me back to the fact that I never really figured out what I wanted from these posts.

The other bookend turned out to be mostly useless. I started each post with a quote from my novel that related to the topic. I did this because I wanted to include something fun in each post, and I knew that finding pictures would be next to impossible. But the quotes turned out to be pretty much pointless. I don't know if this was because they were out of context (again!), or if people just skipped over them to get to the actual post. The only post where the quote really got a response was for "Opening Scene," probably because I pointed out that the quote was my new first line. So I'm thinking unless I made reference to the quotes, they were most likely skipped over.

I guess the most disappointing thing is that my theme actually had the opposite effect of what I wanted. I got zero revising done during the month of April. I didn't really figure anything out, either, that I didn't already know. There were a couple of comments that got me thinking here and there (I think most of them were from the same person! No I won't tell you who *laughs evilly*), but mostly it was just a lot of rehashing ideas I'd already thought of and not even trying to do any actual revising.

But anyway, I've rambled enough! I wish I had chosen a different theme, but none of my other ideas were developed enough, so I would have been struggling for topics. I'm hoping for next year to come up with a more fun theme, and to do so waaaaaaaaaaaay in advance this time. I still have that guilty pleasures idea (but I still don't think I have 26, so maybe I'll combine it with something like obsessions? I don't know...). Or maybe just songs from Broadway musicals. Something fun. We'll see. I'd like to not think about it for a couple of months...

06 May 2016

Chrys Fey's SEISMIC CRIMES (+ a Giveaway!)

Today I have a special guest on the blog, author Chrys Fey! She's here to interview a character from her newest release, SEISMIC CRIMES. Check it out and be sure to enter the giveaway! Take it away, Chrys! 
Interview with a Detective

Today I am taking a cruise around Orlando, Florida with Detective Thorn. He’s showing me the city and answering a few of my questions.

1. What was your reaction when you found out there was a drug ring among criminals and police officers?

*hands tighten around steering wheel* Shock. I couldn’t believe there were cops out there who would stoop to such levels for money. How could they sacrifice their shield like that and be so greedy? Especially to kill other cops.

2. I don’t know, but I think you were getting somewhere: Greed. You were brought in on Ryan Goldwyn’s murder case to help track down David Buckland, the last suspect on the loose. How did you plan to find him?

By tailing the dealers he had been spotted with at one point or another. If we were still out there, it wouldn’t be long before he went to one of them. And he did.

3. While looking for Buck, you meet Donovan, Ryan’s brother, and Beth. What was it like to work with them?

Donovan wasn’t exactly a picnic to work with, understandably so, but he was smart and that I can respect. Beth was brilliant. She was our secret weapon.

4. As I understand it, you like to flirt with Beth. Why is that?

Why should I? She’s beautiful and fun.

Chrys: She’s in a relationship with Donovan.

Thorn: *grins* Pissing Donovan off is a bonus.

Chrys: Do you have a girlfriend?

Thorn: Not yet. *winks*

5. You arrived at San Francisco right after the quake. What was it like?

Utter chaos. First responders were rushing to the scenes of emergencies. There were so many people needing help that the call system went down for hours. I went straight to the San Francisco PD to do my part. I was there when I found out about what happened to Beth and Donovan.

Chrys: They were fortunate that you came.

Thorn: *snickers* I came to yell at them for being so reckless, but that recklessness paid off for us all.

Title: Seismic Crimes
Author: Chrys Fey
Series: Disaster Crimes Series (Book Two)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Digital and Print
Page Count: 282




An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?


Amazon CA / NOOK / KOBO 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

04 May 2016

So Many Insecurities

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

I have so many insecurities I don't know where to begin! But that's what happens most months, actually. So I thought I would break it down.

Blog Insecurities 

I don't want to talk too much about the A to Z Challenge here because I'm saving that for my reflections post. I will say that this year's was kind of disappointing for me, and that's mostly my own fault. But right now I'm just glad it's over, and I hope to come up with a more fun topic next year so I can enjoy it more. I'm also insecure about writing new posts. This week has been easy, since Monday, Wednesday, and Friday were at least somewhat figured out way beforehand. And next Monday I'll post my A to Z reflections. After that? I have no idea. I'm also very close to both my 400th post AND my 5th blogiversary. I could probably make them happen on the same day, actually. I have no idea what I would want to do, though (and no, not a Muse Party).

Writing Insecurities 

I've gotten zero done on the revision front lately, which is kind of disappointing since I seemed to be on the right track for a while. I still haven't finished the first chapter revision. I know things will get so much easier once I finish it. The next few chapters don't need much work at all. And then besides a few major edits, I can probably fly through to the last third. When I get to the last third, however, I'll be completely lost again. It just seems so overwhelming that I don't even want to work on it. But at the same time, all I can do is think about it.

Life Insecurities 

Did I mention I have a wedding date? NBD, right? September 12 in Las Vegas. We've already got our hotel suite, flights, and the chapel booked. I'm looking at wedding dresses for the first time in a couple weeks and I'm petrified. I'm bringing my fiance because otherwise I will be a nervous wreck, plus I'm not superstitious at all. I am so not the type of person who likes to be the center of attention. I must be the most anti-bride of all the anti-brides who ever lived. So far we've got six people going and that's already too many in my opinion. I just want to hide.

I'm also trying to lose weight. I started Weight Watchers again and it's going pretty well. I've already lost ten pounds (although I think I cheated because I was definitely bloated for my first weigh in...the ladies know what I'm talking about). I want to exercise more but a few weeks ago I pulled a muscle and could barely walk. Work was excruciating at times and today is actually my first day without taking any Advil at all. I think the fact that we have the crappiest mattress ever did not help the healing process, but luckily we're getting a new one this weekend! I just hope it doesn't cost too much because I'm still super broke from that whole not having a job thing. Glad that's over! And do you know how much money it costs to eat healthy? So many fruits and veggies...goodbye paycheck...

Ok, I'm done. I think. What is everyone else insecure about?

02 May 2016

Jordan Takes Over: Blame Game

**The first Monday of every month, I let my muse take over the blog. I apologize in advance.**

Can you believe it's been two months since I've written a post? Are you devastated?? Ok, ok, I know it probably doesn't feel that way since Sarah spent the whole month of April talking about how obsessed with me she is, or something like that. I don't know, I didn't actually read them. AND I'd like to know whose idea was it to have Adam write my March post. Mine, you say? Because I was sleeping?? I want proof. Recordings, documents, things with signatures! I don’t give up things that are mine that easily. And I certainly don’t share. 

So anyway, when you can't write, you tend to make a lot of excuses. No time, too tired, no inspiration, blah blah blah. About that last one, though. If you can't write because you don't feel inspired, who do you usually blame? Yourself? Yeah, right. You blame your muse. And let me tell you, we're sick and tired of your crap. 

Ok, so I'm actually not the most cooperative of muses. I mean, we've been working on this thing forever. Like, I was 15 when we started. Now I'm hearing that Sarah and Adam are teaming up to write some short story for my 21st birthday (and they think I don't know about it!). But that's not until December (plenty of time to figure out what you're getting me). 

Wait, I'm getting off topic. Where was I? Oh right, being cooperative. You see, I didn't exactly sign up for this muse gig. It just kinda happened. It just means I had a good story to tell, not that I was some great resource for inspiration. I mean, do I really have to be around every single day until we get this done? Because I definitely haven't been. Oops. 

I'm not exactly a big picture kind of guy. I don't think too far into the future. I'm more about living in the moment. I guess writing a novel is really a big picture kind of thing. Sure, you take it one word, one scene, one chapter at a time. But you can't exactly get the thing done without at least imagining the whole thing. So I'd have to say I'm not exactly the best person to help with writing a novel. 

But it's not entirely my fault, either! If I actually get on board with providing the inspiration and she doesn't even use it, well, what should I do? Just keep giving and giving and still nothing happens? Yeah, right. Trust me, I don't stick with anything if it isn't worth it for me. So why do I stick around at all? What, do you think I could get someone else to write my story? I do not even want to go there. 

So we're not exactly perfect for each other. Or maybe we are. Still figuring that one out.