Fighting Laziness


So I figured out why I came to a stand still in my story. It’s… done. There’s nowhere to go that is even halfway logical except wrapping it up. Slight problem… it’s only 40K words now and not fleshed out AT ALL. So the time for editing has come and… honestly… I DON’ WANNA.

Editing ain’t the fun part. I think just about any writer will agree. We love the wild epiphanies and the beautiful moments of inspiration. Editing is just…work. It’s boring at times, tedious, time-consuming, and uninspiring when you’re not having any great ideas for additions. The idea is just not thrilling me at all right now. In fact, I’m almost tired of the whole thing. So I’m thinking about doing something a little risky… writing the ending and starting Book Two before fleshing out Book One.

Think about it, writing Book Two would actually give me MORE ideas for Book One. Example–foreshadowing. If I already know what’s happening in Book Two, I can go back drop hints about it in Book One when I edit. Plus I’ll be excited about the series again instead of dreading writing. I don’t like that feeling. Writing has always been my friend, not my enemy, and I don’t want that to change any time soon.

So basically, I’m almost done with the rough draft of my current novel and will soon be moving on to the sequel. AH-MAZING 🙂 I started this blog post feeling “blah” and now I’m feeling “AHHHHH!!!”

So excited to reveal the finished product once I’m done with it and ready for self-publishing. Hoping that will be within the next year 🙂 Happiness! Thanks again for following my journey… and for your patience as I stumble through this process. I promise I won’t procrastinate much longer 😉

~N.L.

 

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The Ultimate Test Drive


Okay y’all, I’m taking the plunge and showing you the OFFICIAL first two pages of my novel (subject to minor edits). Pretend you have NEVER seen this before and you’re completely new to my novel, “The Redemption of Velaria.” (if you are new, welcome to my insanity 🙂 )

Okay, so you just picked up this book from Barnes and Noble (or purchased it for your Nook or Kindle or other reading device). The description caught your attention but you’ve never heard of the author and you’re a little skeptical about how this book is going to go. It sounds great, but you spent $7.99 on this book and you would be pretty annoyed if it turned out to be crap. You take a deep breath, crack open the front cover, relish that lovely new book smell, and find page 1…

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Chapter 1

 

“Papa, no! Don’t drink more medicine, please! It hurts you!”

“It does not hurt me, dear.”

“But it does, Papa. Don’t you know? It drives you mad!”

“I must take it, Ardith. If I don’t, I shall die.”

It was a cloudy morning in spring when I had that conversation—my last rational conversation with my father, King Sarle of Ethiria. It was my twelfth birthday, and the only thing I wanted was a happy day with my family. When I saw my father bring the small potion bottle up to his lips at the breakfast table, I knew it was not going to be a good day.

The potion had been given to him a year before by King Callagan under the guise of being a cure for a common cold. It was actually an addictive substance that forced him to drink it in order to live, and after the fact, people realized that the potion was given in revenge—my older sister was the one who had rejected Callagan’s proposal and married the prince, now king, of Cromany. The worst part of the potion was that it drove Father out of his mind. His actions became more and more erratic, and on my 12th birthday his potion caused him to start acting murderous toward my mother and me. He didn’t even know who I was.

Mother knew that to keep me at the palace any longer would prove too dangerous, so she took me and just ran, not knowing or caring where she was going just as long as we were getting away from him. Father sent his soldiers after us and they chased us into Velaria, Land of the Cursed—the realm of the king who had poisoned my father. Once we crossed the border, we couldn’t leave—and had nowhere to go, anyway— so my mother and I started living undercover as the “Pleasantbearings” in the small village of Upsand. No one knew who we were, they only knew that we were fairies and that my mother was so kind she would help people with anything they asked.

I went to school with the humans because my mother said I needed to try to “fit in.” She said it wouldn’t be forever, just until Father was cured or… well, I knew the alternative. Four years went by, and living under King Callagan’s demands was hard—especially for my mother, because on top of meeting her sewing quota every day, she also had to sew things to sell to the villagers for food. The good thing was that Mother’s clothing sold like hot buns in a bakery and for decently high prices, because they had something woven into them that everybody wanted—magic.

If a lady came to my mother with a request for a dress that made her figure look perfect, Mother could do it, no matter how unshapely the customer actually was. Mother could also make hats for people that had gone bald that would grow their hair back. She could make stockings for people’s feet that relieved their pain and healed their sores. She could do anything, and everyone loved her work.

Fairies come from parents, just like humans do. When fairy children turn sixteen, their wings grow in and they become a “full fairy.” Fairy children can perform small acts of magic, and if you ever want to become a full fairy, you have to perform at least one act of magic as a child. My best friend, Julius Poliver, is seventeen but he doesn’t have his wings because his family and he are against the use of magic. He still could use his fairy child magic if he wanted to, but it will dwindle and die off as the years go by until eventually he’s just like a Velarian—incapable of producing magic.

Julius still lives in Ethiria on his family’s farm—a property about two miles east of our palace—with his little brother Eliot, whom we all call “Eli.” Eli is ten years old and very shy. He likes to keep to himself—but if you win his trust, he’ll be your friend forever. The two of them live by themselves because their parents died two years ago in a bear attack. Julius is so strong; he never cries about it in front of Eli and has devoted his entire life to taking care of him and the farm. I think I cried about it more than he ever did while I was reading his letters.

I love both of them—Eli like a little brother, Julius… well, that’s complicated. I love him as a friend and think I may also be in love with him, but as far as I know he still sees me as a sister. We kissed once when I was eight and he was nine, but that was because we were dared to and he hated it, so I would never ask him to do it again. Besides, why would the most attractive young man in the kingdom want someone like me?

I have never considered myself very pretty. Most people would expect a fairy to be beautiful, especially a fairy princess, but my hair is as straight and brown as mouse fur, my eyelashes are short, my nose is slightly crooked, and my skin is so white it’s almost colorless. My only physical triumphs are my shapely lips and my straight teeth. I should also mention that I’m insufferably skinny… as in, little boy skinny. Starved kitten skinny. I could eat five four-tiered cakes a day and stay the same size.

My life is not ordinary, but nothing exciting or inspiring either. It wasn’t until my sixteenth birthday that things began to change.

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So… thoughts? Questions? Suggestions? Please post/like/do your thang 🙂 Thank you readers and followers from all over the planet!! I am so honored to write for you!
~N.L.

Apathy


It’s not that I don’t care about my writing and my career. I do. But the past week and a half I have just not been feeling anything for my story.

It’s a great story, but I feel like there’s something big missing and I have no idea what it is. The very thought of digging through it and trying to find the missing link is exhausting to me right now. It doesn’t help that I haven’t been feeling so great physically lately. It’s looking like I’m not going to make it to 50K for Camp NaNo after all, but hey, 33K in 2 1/2 weeks is a big accomplishment. I’m proud of that and I’m so grateful to Camp NaNo for moving me forward in my story. Once I find that missing piece, I know it’s going to take off again and be basically awesome 🙂

I guess I’m just going to have to push myself forward no matter how exhausted and lethargic I feel. No pain, no gain, after all.

~N.L.

 

45K, 30K, NBD ;)


I hit 45K on my novel and 30K for Camp NaNoWriMo just now. This is me currently–

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Seriously, I’m like, on top of the moon. This is pretty much twice as far as I’ve ever gotten on a novel before (for real at least… I’ve probably gone farther on some crap stuff I did five years ago, but that’s irrelevant). I’m aiming for at least 80K in the novel and 50K for Camp NaNo overall, so this basically means I’m over halfway to all my goals. That. is. incredible! I’m dying. Can I just die real quick? *dies, then resurrects solely for the sake of writing* Okay, I’m good.

I know, I know, I haven’t updated you on the storyline yet. Fact is, it’s way too complicated at the moment AND I don’t want to give away the big twists. Once I figure out how to describe it in less than 500 words with no spoilers, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for sticking with me everyone! Great progress has been made in the last couple months and will definitely continue!

~N.L.

Update on Camp NaNo


I took a couple days off Camp NaNoWriMo, but today I’m back to writing again. So far, my word count is up to 27,878 on NaNo, 43,479 total. I have to say once again that NaNoWriMo is a wonderful thing. It’s actually a lifesaver. Without it, I may have given up on this novel by now.

One thing Camp NaNo has done for me is rid me of the silly notion that inspiration has to hit me over the head before I write. It is actually quite the opposite. You write, and then inspiration hits. When inspiration does finally hit, it makes writing seem like the fun pastime it originally started as–but until then, it’s more of a real… *gulp*… job.

Another thing Camp NaNo has done is force me to challenge myself. I have done things in the past two weeks that I had no idea I could do (such as write 6K words in a day). The word wars I have with my friends are not just fun, they develop me as a writer. I have to come up with something to write (and sometimes outline it beforehand) and then I have to put it down and force myself not to erase it, even if it’s crap. A lot of what I’ve written in the past half month has been crap, and it’s embarrassing, but I’m still proud of myself for writing it and leaving it alone instead of scrapping it all.

The story is kind of dragging at the moment… partially because I’m about to write a war segment, and I have zero clue about how to do that. I need to stop and do some research, really… but alas, in Camp NaNo you have to keep pushing ahead. I’m considering going back and fleshing out Part 1 instead of going forward with the war section, but we’ll see what my crazy little mind chooses to do.

I wish I could tell you more about the novel without giving too much away. I guess I’ll just have to hurry up and finish it so everything can be revealed 🙂

Thanks for reading! Can’t wait to announce that I’ve hit that magical number, 50K!

~N.L.

A Light in the Darkness


I have noticed a recurring theme in literature/TV/movies/music lately: depressingly pessimistic views on life. We think “realism” is painting a world in which everything is pointless and nothing is true–in which people rarely succeed at anything and dreams are only for children.

I have two words for that point of view. Since when??

I may seem childish for this, but personally I still believe that my dreams can come true. No, my life is not perfect. Life has definitely not been “easy” for me; in fact, I suffer every day, probably more than most people would realize. But I still have this crazy belief that life is not worthless and things are going to get better for me someday. I still have this insane hope that life can have a happy ending. Why? Because I’ve watched it happen for other people and I know it’s possible. In the midst of suffering, there is always something to fight for.

If you’re having a bad day, I sympathize with you. It feels like everything I’ve done today has ended in some kind of catastrophe one way or another. A little while ago, I felt like giving up and quitting, but all I had to do was tell myself, “You can sit here and be miserable, or you can choose to be happy.” The answer to that is pretty obvious.

What people need is an acknowledgement that yeah, life hurts. In fact, sometimes it’s like being in a constant state of dying–but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel for people who refuse to give up. There is usually a way out of whatever messy situation you’re in–or if there’s no way out, there’s a coping method. You don’t have to quit or give in. You can have the last laugh at life’s expense.

That is the message I’m striving to deliver in my writing. You can be miserable, down and out, or crumpled on the floor and still find the strength to rise again. Strength comes from having someone on your side, even if it’s only yourself. You can be your own best friend or your own worst enemy. What you tell yourself is what you’re going to believe and live by.

The choice is yours. Are you going to be a victim or a victor? Are you going to let life beat you or are you going to show it who’s boss?

~N.L.

Going Indie


My book is nowhere near ready for publication yet, but it’s looking like that won’t be too far in the distant future (maybe the end of this year or the beginning of next year). I’m considering selling my books in electronic form through Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com to start out with. I know it won’t make me a millionaire, but it would get my stuff out there faster than sending it to an agent or publishing company, plus both of them give pretty good royalties (and you can always go on to publish with a bigger company afterwards).

What do you all in cyberspace think? Indie publishing, yea or nay?