Hello Darlings,

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I’m back!!

Well sort of.  In my last post I marked a milestone with my two year anniversary.  At that time I was feeling stuck and uninspired so I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blogging.  I must say that I missed it.   The entire time away I thought about blogging, writing and life.  Why was I in such a rut and how do I get inspired again and move forward?

I thought about redesigning my blog and tweaked my header a bit, just in case anybody hasn’t noticed.  Even thought about switching to self hosted and all that.

However all of my thoughts and have to be contained…I need to prioritize.

First things first… I have to start writing again.

Get back to my blogging.  I honestly missed it alot.   Making time to get my posts together.  At one point I was scheduling posts and had a basic editiorial calendar but I stopped.  Guess I got lazy.  Blogging can be time consuming and feel like a second job especially if you aren’t enjoying yourself.

Get back to writing…During my time away from blogging  I wrote a few short stories and shared them with a friend.  I got some positive feedback about them and that gave me a little motivation.  I haven’t shared my writing with many people in my daily life.  Sort of afraid to.  Maybe I need to get over that fear and put more of my work out.  Can’t keep hoarding it all to myself.

Sharing it online is different in a way because most people reading my blog don’t know me personally and won’t give me a side look when they see me on the street after reading my writing.  Maybe the evil bitch in the story was them? or the bad boyfriend?

Working on my Internets life…aka My Blog

I feel like my blog is limited therefore limiting me (don’t know if that makes any sense).  If you have read any of my earlier posts, you’ll see that they are all centered around my writing.  I think I mentioned True Blood and Pinterest somewhere in there.  But my content was about writing: what I’ve learned in the process of writing my own novel.

Blogging itself is another outlet for me to express myself.  I want it to be fun and inspiring.  When I put out a post that I enjoyed putting together it is satisfying and I am happy to go back and read it again myself.  There are some posts that I kinda cringe when I read again.  That has to change.

My picture taking skills haven’t improved much so don’t expect too many professional looking pics.  I’ve used Canva and Picmonkey to make a few graphics and will continue with those sites.

In addition to working on posts that I enjoy… I have toyed with the idea of changing the name of my blog and matching it with my address.  I’ve read articles on coming up with names for blogs.  This article from Hatch & Scribe was most helpful.  You should have seen the jumble of words and ideas I came up with for a new name.

I’ve narrowed down my long ass list to two names:

  1. A Novel Soul: This one has sort of a double meaning.  First that I am at a point in my life where I am embracing me for all that I am.  I am going to do my best (not making any grand promises here) to be more open with my writing and stop being afraid.  Starting new and fresh. This is why my blog was called The Next Chapter in the first place.  I was starting a new journey.  Also because I write novels (& short stories).
  2. August Empress: This name to me is just fun.  I was born in August.  August 18th to be exact.  So my birthday was just a few days ago.  I still won’t tell you how old I am.  And when I had locs all the guys used to call me Empress (haha & no I’m not vain).  Since I got rid of the locs, the name disappeared but doesn’t matter…I am an Empress in my own eyes.

The other names were just silly or too specific, which could be a bad thing because people might see the name and say oh this blog is about so and so and come read and see it ain’t about that at all.

So if you see anything changing around here just know that I’m not going crazy.

Which name do you think I should go with? Any suggestions for staying inspired?  Would love to hear from you.

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Summer is Here…

Its been a while since I’ve posted and I apologize for that.  Work has been so hectic.  Even though I haven’t been blogging I try to keep up with the other blogs I follow and read any new posts. Bloglovin is a blessing in that regard.  Everything in one place.

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Some good news:

I got accepted to Graduate school! The acceptance came late and I applied so long ago I actually thought I hadn’t gotten in.  But I was pleasantly surprised about two weeks ago and in addition to work, writing and being a mommy (at nights I tend to crash after reading my son his bedtime story) I’ve been trying to sort out how I’m going to make this all work.  I applied to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.  I have friends who have attended college in Canada and all of them have good things to say about the place.

Some days I honestly think I’m a crazy person for trying to do so many things at once.  But if I want to make things happen I have to go for it.  No procrastinating.

How has summer 2014 been for you so far?

Works in Progress

Before I started my Camp NaNo project I had been researching books to help me fine tune a manuscript that I had completed but never finished editing.  I felt like it had more potential, that I might be missing something important. I’m probably obsessing but I can’t seem to help it.

Through Twitter I came across Roz Morris who wrote Nail Your Novel.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been using the advice and tips to help me re-work my Camp NaNo project and just started on my other manuscript.  Morris also has a blog with the same name here.

So far I have pretty good outlines going for both projects.  It’s been helpful to see my original ideas develop.  With her Cards Game (I use a spreadsheet for this) I’ve put down all my ideas; rearranged and added a few things and re-vived a few parts that seemed lost.

So now back to work.  I’ll keep updating on my projects.

Bucket List?

In case you missed a few of my posts the past few weeks, I’ve been reminiscing alot. Going through old pics and thinking about what I’ve done so far in my life and what I have yet to do.  There are alot of things I would love to see and do before I get too old to do them.   So to that end I sat down and wrote a bucket list. Sort of.

I really don’t want to call it a bucket list.  It sounds too melancholy.   I think it will be my Awesome List or maybe my Great Expectations list.  But then most, if not all, of these can be accomplished in a few years if I plan properly.  So how about “My Before 40 List”.  I’m still working on the name and I won’t say how long I have before that age.

Anyway this is a list of things I would love to accomplish in the next few years before I hit the big 40…

TRAVEL

  • Travel across Europe
  • Visit China
  • Roadtrip across the USA
  • Travel across Canada

LIFE

  • Learn to swim
  • Conquer my fear of heights and go zip-lining
  • Get a tattoo with my son’s name and birthdate
  • Buy a car
  • Build a house
  • Learn a new language

EVENTS

  • Attend a blog conference
  • Do Blogcademy
  • Attend Writers Digest Annual Writing Conference
  • Attend New York City Wine & Food Festival
  • Attend a natural hair conference/meet-up

WRITING (this should have been first but saved the best for last)

  • Write & publish at least 3 novels
  • Get my own website

 

If you have any suggestions for anything on my list please let me know.

 

 

A little pep talk…

Some writing quotes to get me (and you) to keep on writing.

Thought this one was funny since there are so many books dedicated to “how to write a great novel”.

Some days I have to do this.

Some rules to follow if you really need it…

And always remember…

Interview with WL Samuel, author of Touching Widows

Book: Touching Widows

W.L. Samuel is an Antiguan author, who gave me a bit of advice as an aspiring author. As a self published author I thought it would be great to interview him for my blog and see what other bits of wisdom he could impart.

Brief summary of Touching Widows
“Why am I here?” Were the first words that entered Bishop’s mind when he finds himself in a cemetery. He discovers why as he is pulled into one tragedy after another from New York to Florida.

Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Fiction

Published: 01/19/2009

1. What inspired you to start writing?
I write for the love of writing. I use to write as a hobby, a short story here and there, a poem here and there. Until one day my wife encouraged me to enter a poetry competition which I won. I guess you can say my eyes opened to what my wife has been telling me all along, that I write well enough to be a published author. It was then I was inspired and dreamed to be successful author.
2. Where did you get the inspiration for the book, Touching Widows?
I honestly have to say divine intervention, because my original idea died as soon as the pen touched the paper.
3. Why base the book in the US and not in Antigua?
The story was based in the U.S for two reasons: 1- that is the territory I was most familiar with. 2- I have knowledge of events taking place in the said location. So, even though Touching Widows is fictional, it is fiction based on reality. Scary but true, things happen in Touching Widows that has happened in real life and is still happening today.
4. Do you share any personal traits with your main character Bishop?
I think we all have multiple personalities, especially writers. I believe Bishop is the angelical side of me.
5. Why did you decide to self publish and why use AuthorHouse? I’m thinking to use Kindle Direct Publishing or BookBaby, they both have a print on demand service.
I decided to self-publish because my wife suggested it. I chose Author House (AH) because I submitted my manuscript to several companies and AH responded in two days and express how excited they were about my book and the fact that it wasn’t redundant. They said the story doesn’t sound like it has been told before and it has movie qualities. The mention of movie hooked me.
6. Do you have any favourite authors and did they in any way influence what you chose to write?
My favorite authors are John Grisham, James Clavell, Mario Puzo, James Patterson, and Tom Clancy. They do not influence what I choose to write.
7. Do you have any other books in the works?
I have Poetry From My Mind To Yours which was published December 2012. I am putting the finishing touch on my new novel and hope to have it published by August.
8. Any advice for an aspiring author like myself?
My advice to you and anyone who wants to be an author is never quit. I have seen negative criticism about best selling authors books so that tells me to let them talk because the numbers of your fans don’t lie. And if you’re at a level where you don’t have fans in the millions, its alright, be patient and keep writing.
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Camp NaNoWriMo

Oh my goodness. Time got away from me these past few days so I am hella late with my post today. But better late than never. Anyway…

Camp NaNoWriMo starts next month!!

I tried last year’s Camp NaNo and it kinda didn’t go so well but I’m not a quitter so I’m taking a crack at it again. I’ve been outlining, researching and planning like crazy which is new for me since last time I pantsed (is that how you spell that?)  it all the way.  This time I’m working on a Sci-Fi novel.

I’m hoping to actually meet my goal which I’m setting for 50k words. I’ve signed up but haven’t been assigned a cabin yet.  Really looking forward to see what I can put out in a month’s time.

Anyone else trying Camp NaNo? Can somebody get me a Camp t-shirt?