Update on YA Project


My apologies for not being very active here lately. I have been working my butt off on Camp NaNoWriMo (yes I know, I said I would never do that again, but I did it for my friends), which is why I haven’t posted much, and… OMG… I actually succeeded this time. I set a goal for myself of 30K words, and now I am at 38K! I am so proud and happy that my inspiration has finally come back in full force and the words are pouring out of me like syrup from a maple tree. This is probably the best story idea I’ve ever had, too. There’s so much I can do with it, and I really haven’t heard many like it.

I’m keeping most of the specifics under wraps for now, but for the moment I’ll tell you that this novel is about a fifteen-year-old girl named Madison, the daughter of a rock star who retired to raise her and give her a normal childhood. After fifteen years out of the spotlight, he decides he wants to move to LA to restart his career, and she has to move from the only home she has ever known in the Kentucky countryside. Mads is a little less than graceful at times, and she makes a lot of blunders when she first moves to LA (like accidentally ending up with a pumpkin orange spray tan). She documents her mishaps in a vlog that gets a lot of attention and helps her take control of her public image as a new-found celebrity. The title of the vlog is also the title of the book, which I will not be revealing just yet ;)

It is so much fun writing this book and seeing where it goes, but it’s also a lot of hard work, so I’ll probably still not be posting super often. I really. really want to get this book ready to self-publish by the end of this year. We’ll see how it goes!

Thanks for following and have a great rest of your weekend :)

~A.D.

Utter Insanity


Alright peeps… My head is spinning and I’m going to attempt to touch down to earth for a few minutes and post in this blog. Life has been utterly insane lately, but I couldn’t be happier with the direction in which it’s headed. I haven’t had much time to actually write, but damn, have I made some progress. Allow me to elaborate, my dears.

First of all, this week was my first week of class. I am attending college again for a degree in Communication and Professional Writing. I am so excited about this turn of events because I have always wanted a B.A. and now I have found a college online that will allow me to take one or two classes every 9 weeks entirely from home and achieve my dreams while simultaneously raising my son and writing. I know I might sound “religious” if I say this, but I feel like God opened a door for me and I feel incredibly blessed to be where I’m at.

Secondly, I have decided to resurrect my writers’ group and I have help doing it. My co-admin and a leader from another writers’ group and I are going to join forces to make a new group out of old and new members so we can share our endeavors and get the feedback we as writers so desperately need. I am not giving out names for sake of privacy but I can assure you, these ladies are awesome and a pleasure to work with. I see blue skies and rainbows ahead for these groups who will now become one (from time to time… or permanently… time will tell!)

Third, I just have had so many good ideas lately. And I mean good. Like, “make myself cry” good. I wish I had time to write them all down, but for now I’m just hitting “save” in my brain and I will write them down when I get the chance. I wish I could just wave a magic wand and have the books written how I want them… but alas, that is not how real life works.

So yeah, my life just got a hell of a lot busier, but I like it busy. If it isn’t busy, it’s boring, and I don’t do boring, peeps. (Does anyone even say “peeps” anymore? I feel like my generation has passed and I’m only 23 :/ )

Have a fantastico weekend, my lovely readers!

~A.D.

All In


Gilmore Girls is one of my favorite shows, for a lot of reasons. Mostly it’s because I have a massive woman crush on Lorelai Gilmore… No but really, what I love about the show the fact that it is such an intelligent, honest representation of friendship, relationships, and life itself. One of my favorite moments in the show is when Luke and Lorelai are in his favorite restaurant at the very beginning of their relationship and Luke tells her, “Lorelai, this thing we’re doing here -me, you- I just want you to know I’m in, I’m all in.”

Ohhh the feels. And then, of course, their relationship kept tanking over and over… But they’re still one of the cutest couples to ever get together on TV, though. Anyway, my writing career has been a casual friend for years. I keep saying I’m going to pursue it harder but I always manage to find something else to date for a while: film, business, cosmetology, photography, etc. I haven’t been very committed and therefore have not made much real progress in my dream of being a full-time, paid, published, well-known, established writer. People have always taken one of two sides when I tell them I want to be a writer: “Cool! When you’re famous, I get to tell people I knew you before you were famous!” or “Really? You sure you want to throw your life away on a worthless life path like that?” (perhaps not in so many words, but I get the message).

I used to care about what other people thought of my life choices and that’s one of the main factors that influenced me to “see other people.” Well, a funny thing happens sometimes as you get older. You find out more about what you really want and you stop caring what other people think of you. Flirting with the idea of being a writer is no longer enough… I’ve tried a lot of other things and I just can’t bring myself to pursue something that isn’t a passion. I love music, photography, film, and lots of other things but only one thing brings that spark to my life. That reason for staying up until 2 AM even though my child will be awake in four hours and I know I’m going to feel like a zombie for the rest of the next day. That reason for jumping on my phone or laptop in the middle of whatever I’m doing to write down a scene that I just know my book will not survive without.

So, Future Best-Selling Author Me, this thing we’re doing here -me, you- I just want you to know I’m in. I’m all in. I’m going to get the education, spend the long hours on the computer and reading books, do all the parts I hate and love about writing as often and as well as I can and stop listening to all the cynics who think novel writing is a dying art. After all, hello, think about where the best movies (and some TV shows) come from! Without crazy, neurotic, unrealistically optimistic freaks like me, this world would be a hell of a lot more dull and depressing.

Quick update on my book: I have adopted a technique which I like to refer to as “asynchronous writing.” Basically, I just write down whatever scene I’ve been developing in my head whenever I feel like it, even if it means writing the last scene of the book before even attempting the first scene. I have no idea if this is going to work in the long run, but it sure is better than writing nothing at all, so as a busy mom and soon-to-be college student (again) I have no choice but to continue doing what I can when I can. It also seems to be helping me develop the story for when I do finally sit down and really write the novel from start to finish. Someday… Someday, I will…

Well I would love to stay and talk about myself some more, but the winter storm of the year (which in the South means two inches of pure ice) is starting and I’ve got a front row seat. Happy Monday, readers.

~A.D.

The Battle for Orthir


My blog posts are probably going to be short and sweet now as my infant son sees fit to use my distraction as an opportunity to wreak havoc all over my house. That said, after a great deal of thought, I have a less-than-inspired working title for my novel: “The Battle for Orthir.” If I think of a better one while writing it, I will post an update, but for now that is the official title of my fantasy novel.

In my novel, the Isle of Orthir is a large, mountainous island which is home to the light-elves, or Calatolthë. Its mountains are rich with gold and jewels and the light-elves have been defending the isle for thousands of years. I am keeping the series of events that leads to the battle a secret for now, but I have a feeling the battle itself is going to be legendary. All of the nations in the nearest continent will be involved in the quest for riches and glory, plus one of the Calatolthë’s own. If you like drama, action, fantasy, romance, and strong female (and male) leads, I think you will enjoy this book. I’m hoping to have it completed sometime in the year 2016.

Thanks for following my journey! I wonder who my 155th WordPress follower will be? You might just get a shout-out here and/or on Twitter ;)

~A.D.

The Demon on my Shoulder


So I’m back to (attempting) writing both of my novels at once. I tried to put the other one off, but it just won’t wait, so now I have two totally different worlds living in my head as well as my life as a mom and my weak commitment to living in the “real world” and keeping up with current events. I think I’m about to go clinically insane. I know I say that all the time, but this time I’m actually starting to see things that aren’t there. Nobody throw me in the looney bin please, I have way too much to do…

I have two fully developed storylines now, but the beginning of actually writing the stories is the point where I always start hearing these annoying little voices in my head: “Your stories suck.” “You’re not good at this.” “Do you seriously consider yourself a real writer?” “No one in their right mind is going to read this.”

The sad truth is that those voices are the very reason I have not been able to finish anything so far. Those voices have been dominating and controlling me for nearly ten years. My lack of confidence and determination has all been self-made and I’m starting to realize that I am my own worst critic and I need to step out of my own way sometimes. Those little voices are never going to get me anywhere but depressed and unsuccessful. They’re the demon on my shoulder that convinces me to throw in the towel, over and over and over again.

Well I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m sick and tired of failing. I keep saying “this time is going to be different” and “I really mean it this time” but there has never been enough heart behind it to count. Now I NEED to bring these worlds to life, not just for me, but for women everywhere. We need strong female heroes to step forward and show us how to take what’s ours. Both of my MC’s are strong, independent females and I need you to know who they are. I need to make you love them just as much as I do and I know I can do it if I can just ditch the crazy and the lack of self-confidence. The only person standing in my way is me, and now I’m stepping aside.

So yeah, look out, publishing world. I’m flicking this demon off my shoulder and I’m coming after you.

~A.D.

Why Perfectionists Should Write Books


This is sort of the antithesis to my previous post. The half-full version of the cup. The positive spin. The sunny side of the egg.

I wrote before about how perfectionists such as myself struggle to write because we can’t let things go. Imperfections drive us crazy and make it impossible to make any progress because we’re too busy trying to correct the first paragraph of the novel to write anything else. Well lately I have found that writing is transforming something deep within me that I never thought I could change. I’m learning to let go of the need to make things perfect the first time.

*GASP!* Revolutionary, right? I’m so proud of me. Right now I’m on my fifth, sixth, or hundred and sixth (I lost track) attempt at a rough draft for this novel idea and I have finally said to myself, “Screw it. It doesn’t have to be perfect right now.” No one who is not a perfectionist will understand how huge a breakthrough that was for me. Letting go of control is such a massive hurdle for me but I am finding that once I do that, progress finally begins to be made. The storyline is finally coming together and my characters are making sense. As long as those two things are present, I don’t mind writing something that is less than perfection. Corrections can be made later. Also, even the scenes I write that don’t end up working for me tend to help me figure out what I do want to write and I’m able to move forward from there. It’s all a process, and processes can get very messy at times.

By the way, I’m also kinda proud of myself for correctly using the word “antithesis.” I love big words; in fact, I used to read books with a dictionary in my other hand as a kid so I could learn the words I didn’t know. See? I was destined for this crazy madcap writer’s life. Everything is going to be okay, even if it’s less than perfect.

Have a perfectly imperfect weekend, my lovely readers :)

~A.D.

The Fall Down the Mountain


Yeah… I knew this was going to happen. I get super super excited about all the great things I’m going to do and then I have a setback and I get discouraged again. Depressed. Defeated.

I ran into several plot holes with my novel outline that I can’t seem to work through and I had a rough week with my weight loss as well. Right now I am trying so hard not to throw in the towel on both of those things. I like eating. I like watching TV instead of reading books or writing. I like being stagnant instead of making progress because it’s easier than trying and failing. Handling failure well has never been something I’ve excelled at, which may be why I’m not excelling at anything.

Achieving goals has always been like climbing an extremely steep mountain for me, and I’ve never had the courage and determination it takes to reach the top. The only thing I ever finished well was pregnancy and I didn’t really have a choice on that one. Whenever I slip and fall I go back down to my pretty little valley of denial and pretend the mountain doesn’t exist. I start eating junk again. I delete my rough draft. I close the book and turn on the TV, wasting away in an illusion of happiness that is never going to fully satisfy me.

I guess the reason I’m writing all of this is to fight off the denial and remind myself that the mountain isn’t going to conquer itself. It is going to require blood, sweat, and tears and if I’m not willing to put in the effort, I will be unsatisfied forever. Being significantly overweight and not following my passion in life will not make my son proud of me. By the time he’s old enough I want him to see his mom as a role model. Right now, as I am, I wouldn’t want him to want to be like me, so something’s gotta give.

Novel plots do not stay unsolved forever. I don’t need that snack or soda. I don’t have to live in the valley of denial when the mountain is standing right in front of me. Time to work this shizz out and get serious.

Enjoy your weekend folks :)

~A.D.

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