I Love Blogging Again

Love

I think it’s only fitting for my 200th post to tell you all that I love blogging again. Since I stopped sticking to a stringent everyday schedule and started posted when and what I wanted, I’ve been able to enjoy blogging again. I love having the freedom to write when and what I want. I know you all understand that sometimes I just don’t feel like posting, so I’m able to post whenever the idea comes to me. I’m not obligated to post, but I’m doing it because I love it, because I want to share with you all what’s on my mind and what’s going on. I get to gripe about all things writing and share you with some inspiration that I find in my day to day life.  I love it. I love having this blog because it helps me see a lot of who I am as I writer:

  1. I don’t like repetition. I don’t like writing the same thing over and over again which is why keeping up the schedule didn’t work for me.
  2. I also get bored pretty easily which you all probably know seeing as how my blog theme has changed at least 5 times since I started. Feel free to tell me to stop changing it already or tell me which one you liked the best. This also explains why I couldn’t keep up with the schedule because it started getting tedious and route.

And now, we’re back to no rules. I write what I want and when I want and you all get to take a step deeper into the mish-mash of my mind. No one’s complained so far, so I guess you all like it. And I hope you all continue to enjoy my ramblings and No Rules, Just Words. Here’s to 200 more posts.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. Don’t forget Last Look Back is coming out November 14, 2014.

P.P.S. I’ve already started book 2 of the series. Now I know what you’re thinking, My can you get the first book out first. So, here’s the thing, I need to write, so there was no way I can wait until November to start book 2. Second, it turns out that I work out/exercise more when I’m working on a book, because I focus more during this time. I’m sure to schedule in my workout because it kickstarts my brain and allows the creative juices to flow better. I guess working out is a part of my writing process. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but it does to me so if I’m going to stay fit, I’ve got to write. That was probably a longer story than you needed today. Okay, I’m done :-)

There is no Rhyme or Reason to this

confused

I would be the genius to choose the most unstable, hard-to-plan-for career. I’m exaggerating, of course, but let me explain. With other careers, you can plan for trends, you can guess exactly what will get a response and what type of response it will get. The same can’t be said for writing. Say you notice a trend in the books that are being published. Good luck trying to write a book of that trend because by the time you publish your book, the trend would have already passed. Then, let’s say, you published your book. It’s fantastic. You love it. You would literally need a crystal ball if you wanted to predict the type of response that your book is going to get.  You could have the best thing you’ve written and only sell 3 copies. On the other hand you can have, what in your mind is trash, sell millions of copies.

I say all of that to say this, there is no rhyme or reason to this. Either the book sells or it doesn’t. Every book is a leap of faith. With this business, there’s no guessing. The only thing that you can really plan is what you write. That’s why you need to write what you love. And that’s why you have to love writing if you decide that this is something that you want to do because there are no guarantees. If you’re wondering where all this is coming from, blame this blog. Today, I checked my blog’s stats which tell me how many people visit my site each day. I was completely flabbergasted by the results because there would be days when I’d get a lot of views, but I didn’t write anything. Other times, I’d post maybe everyday, but not get any views at all. Do you see what I’m saying? No rhyme or reason! Who knows why some days I get views and other days I don’t. I have no way to begin to figure out, the same way there’s no figuring out what books will sell.  All I can do is write and that of course,  is just fine with me.

What do you all think? Am I just being crazy or do you agree? Let me know in the comment section below.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

 

If I Fail…

I know none of us like to think about it, but the thought keeps popping in my head. I figured it be a good topic to talk about because I know I’m not the only one that fears failure. Last night, I finished the overhaul of my book. A minute later, the thoughts came:

What if no one likes my book?

What if it doesn’t sell?

Can I keep this up book after book?

What if I don’t have what it takes?

I can’t list every question, but I hope you have an idea of what I’ve been going through last night and early this morning. Is this natural? I guess every writer has those moments of self doubt, where we’re not really sure if we are in the right business or if we even know what we’re doing. Since this won’t be the last book that I write, these thoughts will be sure to pop up again. So, what do I do about?

As I’ve mentioned before, I think my best bet is positive thinking. It all starts in the mind. The same place where these negative thoughts reside are the same place where the ideas for my books come from, so I’ve got to take the good with the bad and fight the bad thought with a good thought.

People will love my book.

They will be chomping at the bit for the chance to feature be in a newsletter or talk or something.

I will be able to make it as a writer for years and years to come.

There will be shelves of books everywhere and everyone will love it.

I have what it takes.

There is no plan “B” for me. There is no day job. There is only writing. Writing is what I love to do and what I’ve always done. I can’t see myself being happy doing anything else, so bad thoughts or not, I’m just going to suck it up and keep it moving. If I fail, so what? I’ll be fine. It’s not the end of the world and there are many more books that need to be written. The important thing is to not forget why I’m here. I’m here to write, so fail or not, that’s what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.

What about you? What’s your Plan “A”?

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. In case positive thinking doesn’t work for you, take a look at these quotes which all deal with writing and failure. Which one is your favorite.

failure3 failure2 Failure

Glutton for Punishment: Writer’s Edition

screwed up writer

This post is for my writer friends. I think that in some form or fashion, all writers are in a way gluttons for punishment. When you think about the nature of writing, you can really see that we are all just a little crazy. Think about it. Writers spend hours at a time by themselves creating imaginary worlds. Everyday we pick apart the worlds we create again and again. We spend sleepless nights trying to make the world perfect. We’re fighting against silence and distractions to make out creation just so. Then, we realize we don’t like it, delete the whole thing and start off fresh the next day. Glutton for punishment! .

Maybe glutton for punishment is not the right phrase, but it’s pretty close to how I’m feeling right now. Let me tell you. I’ve been spending 9 months (on the 10th month now) on my novel. As I waited for responses from agents, I began to question how great my novel really was.  That started making me question my ability as a writer and that is no good. I’ll get the details of the story all wrong if I try to retell it from start to finish, so the long and short of it is:

1. I didn’t want to wait for an agent to tell me if my book was good enough for them to publish.

2. I decided to self-publish my book, so I could pay more attention to my book and give it the attention it deserves.

3. I revisited my 296 page novel and realized it needed work. It was all over the place and could be so much better. And now that I was publishing it myself, I had to make sure it was the best.

4. I am now in the midst of overhauling my book in preparation for a Book Launch in November.

I must be insane or like I said, a glutton for punishment. Who finishes a book only to decide to change it after 10 months of working on it? Luckily, I found a way that I wouldn’t have rewrite the entire book, just select scenes, but still you have to admit this is pretty weird. Then, there’s the self-publishing which is not an easy feat, so I’ll be busy making sure I’ve taken care of all of that. And last but not least, there’s the promoting of the book, which may be the hardest thing for me. You know how I feel about my stories. They’re like my babies. And now I’m giving everyone in the entire world free reign to critique me and my work and say whatever they want.

Wow! So, now you know what I’m dealing with. These next couple of months are going to be pretty crazy. You want to hear the funny part? I am so excited. I am so ready. It’ll be hard, but I can’t wait.

Prepare yourselves! Consider this your official notice.

I will be releasing Last Look Back, my debut novel on November 14, 2014. You heard it here first. Mark your calendars now.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. don’t you just love how I sneaked that news in there. Me, too. ;) I’ll give you more details about the release soon.

Diana Nyad: All types of crazy wonderful

diana nyadI have been trying to write this post for over this week. Honestly, I just haven’t felt the urge to post and I have a new project that is in the works and is taking a lot of my attention. I’ll talk a little bit about that in my next post. (It’s going to be called “Glutton for punishment: Writer’s Edition” so be on the lookout for that. )

Now, if you’re wondering who the woman in the picture is, that’s Diana Nyad. If you don’t know who that is, don’t worry I’ll tell you. Diana is a swimmer. A week or maybe a week and a half ago, I watched the documentary of Diana’s effort to swim from Havana Cuba to Key West, Florida. She tried on numerous occasions to make the 110.86 mile journey and failed 4 times. She risked her life battling the elements and dangerous marine creatures in order to reach her goal.

On September 2, 2013, on her 5th attempt, after  52 hrs 54 minutes, she did it. I cried. I was so happy for her. To those around her, she probably sounded crazy. “Hey guys, I want to swim to Florida.” But she did it! She may have failed a couple times. There was even a couple of near-death scares, but that didn’t stop her. She pushed through and she did it. It makes me think would I have that same sort of drive to go after my dream. Would I risk death in order to chase after what I wanted? Do I want my dream as much as I want to breath. I use Diana Nyad as an example for me. She did so much, experienced adversity and still came out on top. There was probably plenty of times when she thought of giving up, but she didn’t. There was something in her that kept her moving forward no matter what the situation looked like. I want at least a fraction of that. I want to be so focused on my dream that I will do anything to accomplish it. So focused that I can’t hear my naysayers and critics. Can’t say I’ll ever swim to Florida, but maybe if I work hard enough, I’ll shoot for the stars, but stand among them.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

 

 

I lost 4 pounds!!! weight loss update

weight-loss

Yep, you read that right. Since last Tuesday, when I told you all about by fluctuating weight issues, I’ve been drinking a lot more water and working out and I’ve actually lost weight. I had a weigh-in today and I am 227 pounds. Woo, progress!! For the first week, I wasn’t sure what type of loss I would have and I am happy to have even lost one pound. My goal was a measly two pounds and I’m pretty sure I blew that goal out of the water.

Over the week, I’ve been researching weight loss tips and seeing what I could do to help make this journey easier.

Here’s some things that I learned:

1. Water is your friend. Drink as much as possible especially while you’re working out. Hydrate.

2. Don’t overexercise. I try to work out a little everyday, but really I only need to work out three times a week. I do want to try working in an easier ab work out on the alternate days because I’m going to be totally honest, I really want defined abs. We all have our goals lol :-)

3. Stand up when you can. Standing burns 1.5 times more calories than sitting. Since I’m working at the computer most of the day, it’s good to set my computer on the counter, so I can get work done and burn calories at the same time.

4. Don’t weigh yourself everyday. Since my weight has been fluctuaty it’s kind of disheartening to see it go up and down, but once a week is so much better to get a better idea of the weight loss progress.

5. Speak in positives. If you tell yourself you can, then you will.

6. Don’t deny yourself treats. The more you tell yourself that you can’t have something, the more you’ll want it. Give yourself a treat every once in a while. Indulge, just don’t completely go crazy.

I don’t want to bombard you with tons of weight loss tips, so I’ll stop here. If you all have any other tips, please share them below. We can help each other on this weight loss journey.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

BREAKING NEWS: Turns out, I’m 6’5”

surprised

 

I know. I know. Shocking, right?

I guess not really shocking if you’ve been here for a while, but it’s still pretty surprising. I’m pretty sure I know what you’re thinking now. My? I thought you were 6’4”. How could you not know you were 6’5”?  I guess I have some explaining to do. If you know anything about me, you know about my love-hate relationship with my height. Of course, I love who I am, but the height portion has always taken me a longer time to get used to for numerous reasons. Tall and female has never translated well and everywhere I go I’m assaulted with questions about how tall I am and how I should be playing basketball and following the knowledge that I do not play basketball, comments on how I’m “wasting my height.” There are other days when I am welcomed by droves of admirers that wish they could be as tall as me. I have to stop myself from looking at them in disbelief. I appreciate their comment, but they have no idea what’s it like to be female and this tall. Half the time I’m looked at in awe and the other half, I just feel like a side-show at the circus. Suffice to say, being tall has never felt like a positive experience for me. As I’ve gotten older and realized the possibility of shrinking was slim to none, I’ve learned that I need to accept my height, not hide from it. I’ve been a slow learner of this lesson and have on numerous occasions wished I was a little bit shorter. I would even when asked how tall I was, tell people I was an inch shorter than what I actually was. An inch may not seem like a lot, but for me it was the difference between me feeling like a freak or not.

It’s pretty weird now that I write it down. I think saying I was an inch shorter was a way for me to cope with the stares and the sticking out whether I wanted to or not. Other people care more about how tall I am than I do, so I figured what would it matter if what I tell them is an inch or so off. It’s not like they carry tape measures around with them. The thing is, it did matter. I was coping. That’s all well and good, but I wasn’t me. I wasn’t being me because me was an inch taller. It’s like I was subconsciously cutting myself down physically and emotionally so I could fit in, not realizing that it was skewing the way I saw myself and my height. Last week, I went to the doctor’s for a check-up and was told I was 6’5” and a quarter. It wasn’t a surprise (I’ve been officially in the 6’5” range since high school), but still, I felt myself not believing it. I’ll still tell people I’m 6’4”, I’d say. I’m not that tall, I don’t want to be that tall. How crazy is that? As if by speaking it, I’ll get any shorter. As if I’d even want to be any shorter. That day something flipped inside me. I don’t want to hate my height and I don’t want to just cope with it. I want to love it. I see all these tall women that are strutting and loving their height. I want that. There are so many people that wish they were me or tall as me. I am actually me and this tall, I should be loving it. From this moment on, I will proudly say I’m 6’5”. Yes, that’s tall. No, I don’t play basketball. Yes, I do wear heels and I look fierce in them. It’s up to me to determine how I feel about myself. No one can make me feel inferior without my consent. I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I am beautiful.

And so are you! Embrace yourself. The things you do and don’t like because you’re beautiful, all of you.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

When dreams change…

 

dreams

So what do you when your dream, which was such a sure thing maybe a week ago, changes. Do you freak out or just run with it? I’m not sure what I should do. If you know anything about me, you know all I’ve wanted to do was become a published writer, writing popular books that everyone loves and traveling all over the world on book tours promoting my book. Now, I don’t know. Something’s changed. Maybe it’s the power of suggestion. I don’t know! Let me tell you what happened. A couple of weeks ago, I was given the idea of starting a literacy program.  As time went by, I started doing my research and realized that a literacy program would be perfect for me. I can help kids and adult increase their literary skills and can use stories that I write as material for them to learn. I’ll be helping people and still have an outlet for my writing. With my writing journey, I’ve found that it’s really solitary and kind of lonely. It’s also a lot of waiting which I’ve never been good at. It’s waiting to finish writing and editing, it’s waiting for the agent to like your work, it’s waiting for the whole technical process to be done. I also am aware that the likelihood of my being able to support myself  on my first book alone is not looking good. There is the possibility that it may be happen, but I don’t feel like waiting the rest of my life to see.

I realize that this sounds kind of pessimistic. If I worked at it, I could get that published book and be able to support myself. The thing is, I would be the only one benefiting. I could donate some of the book’s proceeds and people could really like my book, but it’ll really just be me and the books. Maybe I’m thinking about this the wrong way. That’s why I’m writing this down, so I can really think about what I’m doing and what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I think the best way to appease both sides of me is to come up with a compromise. I think I’ll do a modified continuation of the 11-month plan (FYI the 11 month plan was a plan I created in early January, I’m pretty sure I posted it here. The plan basically said that I would work on my book for 11 months and if nothing happened I would go onto something else. The something else was going to be grad school, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. I’ll talk more about me and grad school later. I digress.)

Until November, I’ll be querying agents and trying to get my book publishing. I’ll also be working on creating my literacy program.  If nothing happens with the agents, I’ll self-publish and go on from there. Either way, I think it’s okay to have a new dream. That’s what dreams are for. They’re whatever you can imagine.

What do you think? Let me know.

That’s all from me. Always remember that I love you guys!

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

What makes the perfect story?

Is there a secret formula or maybe a recipe that makes up a perfect story? Are there set guidelines?

I don’t have a clue. I kind of wish there were some. That would make writing infinitely easier. I guess that it would make it less fun, too. When I write, there’s nothing guiding me that tells me when I’m done, when I’ve written the best that I can write. I just know that when I’m done, I’m done.

The same thing goes when I’m reading a story. I don’t know what it is about one book that makes me like it more that another. I just know that one book is gathering dust on my shelf and the other I can’t seem to put down for the life of me.

I think the guidelines for a perfect story are subjective(I hope I’m using this word right). It is up to the person reading or writing to determine what’s a good story. A critically acclaimed book that’s won numerous awards can still be trash if it’s not a book that you personally like.

boomerang

I’m currently reading boomerang by Noelle August. The book was a birthday present from me to myself. I’m on page 47 and I love this book. The characters are funny and the plot is amusing. The story is about Mia Galliano and Ethan Vance who wake up one more together (how scandalous lol.) They’re both going to be late to work so they share a cab ride to get there on time. The cab takes them to the same place and they quickly find out that they will be working for the same company which of course has a strict policy against coworkers dating. To make matters worse they find out that they are in the same internship vying for the same job position. *suspenseful music* Dunh! Dunh! Dunhhhhh!!! Will they crash and burn or will their love survive?

I’m in love with this story. It’s probably the romantic aspect that has me hooked. I’m a sucker for a good romance. I’m reading it and I can’t help but think I could never write something this good and I’m a good writer if I do say so myself (and I do.) That’s just how good the story is to me and it definitely gives me a level to strive for. I would definitely recommend the book to all that are looking for a good book to read.

Well, that all from me. I love you guys, but t’s time for me to get back to reading.

From the #1 Rule-breaker,

My

P.S. Oh! and what makes the perfect book for you. Let me know in the comment section below.