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.

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…

Today’s my Monday + Camp NaNo Project Excerpt

This weekend was a long one for me.  Yesterday was a holiday here so I didn’t post anything. So today is my Monday.  Below is part of my writing project that I attempted for Camp NaNo.  It’s currently unedited but I thought I’d share some of it with you.

***

“She wouldn’t want you to be this way, you know that.”

Samuel watched as his sister’s brown eyes clouded over. He risked having her not talk to him for the next few days but she needed to face the loss and move forward.  Since their mother’s death a few weeks ago and her own near death experience, Eshe had been withdrawn and depressed.  No matter what he did she never fully came out of her shell. It was hard for him to see her like this. Before the accident she had been one of the most fun loving people he knew.

Eshe brushed her dark hair away from her shoulders and stared out of the lone window of her brother’s small apartment. The sight of empty space with its twinkling stars was, at one time, beautiful to her but now it only brought shivers and an overwhelming sense of fear. She’d had an apartment similar to this one but gave it up after the accident.  It was space debris shattering the outside protective layer of a window that had caused the accident that killed their mother and almost killed her.

She knew she wasn’t handling the situation well but she couldn’t help herself. Some days it was hard to get out of bed. Samuel didn’t blame her. He told her so all the time but she blamed herself enough for the both of them. If only she had been a little faster, less afraid, their mother might still be alive. She might have lived to see them find a new home planet.

“I know mom would want me to continue living my life but it’s so hard sometimes.” Eshe fought to swallow the lump that had grown in her throat. Samuel didn’t have to deal with the sight of their mother’s frozen face burned into his memory or the sound of her gasping for breath as she froze to death. Some nights she would wake up fighting for breath herself. Sometimes she could still feel the numbing cold seeping into her body. She had told him all this and he had done his best to be supportive but Eshe knew he feared she’d take her own life, that’s why he insisted on these frequent dinners. What he didn’t know was she was too much of a coward for that. Besides she didn’t want to die. It’s just that some days she didn’t know how to go on living.

Samuel reached out to take his sister’s hand. Her complexion was the same caramel brown as his. In fact they looked a lot alike; both of them had their mother’s brown eyes and her dimpled smile but he had inherited his father’s premature baldness, so he kept his head clean shaved. When they started this journey almost five years ago Eshe had a shorter cut but she had let her hair grow out. But now Samuel realized she hadn’t been taking very good care of her hair both since it wasn’t combed properly and a bit matted.

“You have to know she wouldn’t blame you. Dad doesn’t blame you either. We love you and I want my sister back.” Samuel let out a breath when she gave him a lopsided smile. Much better, he thought. “How about we go to the Lounge later? Faris has been asking about you. Has he come to see you?”

Eshe resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Faris had stopped by her apartment a few times but she never answered the door. Alexander Faris was more often than not a pain in her ass. Most of her and her brother’s friends liked him. Faris, with his smooth dark skin and twinkling eyes, was a handsome man and much to his discredit he was very aware of his looks and how affected the female gender was by him. He had taken a liking to Eshe a while ago after his other companion had gotten enough of him. To her dismay, the man was very persistent.

“I’ll think about it.”

Samuel rolled his eyes. Eshe laughed and was surprised by how good that felt.

“No you will not think about it. You will go to your place. You will shower, comb your hair and put on something nice. Then I will come get you in an hour. Think you can manage that?”

This time Eshe did roll her eyes. “Yes sir” and she saluted him.

Samuel watched her leave. Finally, some progress.

 

***

Hope you enjoy it. Comments always welcome.

 

 

 

The Next Chapter

To start off my goals for my blog I wanted to give some insight into why my blog is called The Next Chapter. I know today is Monday and I said I was going to post writing related stuff but I thought it would be good to begin this way.

The Next Chapter is a name I chose because this is a new era in my life.  I’m embracing something that I was always afraid to share with others because I thought it would make me seem more of a nerd than I already was.   I’ve always read alot and I’m into Star Wars and stuff like that.  The people I grew up with had to basically be sick to find them with a book.  I was always the weird one.

I started writing a novel quite a few years ago and didn’t finish because I wanted to go to college and instead of pursuing a degree in English or Creative Writing (I thought at the time they wouldn’t be realistic choices), I chose Hospitality Management and Tourism.  After all I live in the Caribbean, on an island that survivied mainly from that industry, it would be a more practical thing to do.

But the stories never left me.  My strong point in college was writing.  I even worked part time as an English tutor.  So now probably a good decade later I’ve finished writing my first manuscript, a few short stories and working on the outline for another novel.

Call it a not-so-mid-life crisis (I’m 31) or whatever but this time I plan to see this through to wherever it may lead.  So far I’ve been enjoying it.

 

 

Blogging for 2014…My blog plan.

In a post a few weeks ago I wrote about possibly changing up my blog content a bit since I found it so tough coming up with something fresh and interesting that was based purely on my writing.  Let’s face it nobody wants to hear me ramble on about being stuck in editing or writer’s block in every other post.

I found an article on writing a blog plan that was very helpful in getting me started with this new direction for my blog.  So I sat down to do some brainstorming.  I still want my content to include writing but I now want to add things going on away from my computer because as much as I want to write I don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day.

So I listed

  • what I liked and disliked about my blog (I am really happy with my new header: designed it myself).
  • what I thought blogging should be (FUN!!).
  • a few things that I am interested in and thought of ways to incorporate them into my blog content.
  • Blogging goals for the year.

That being said my new blog plan includes the following:

  • Better/more pictures.
  • My writing
  • Book reviews, what I’m currently reading.
  • Work in progress updates
  • Lifestyle
  • My home

The blogging schedule that I will do my very best to follow will be:

  • On Mondays: a post about writing.  Could be a short story I recently wrote, an article or a book review.  It will most likely be book or writing related.
  • Thursdays will be something about my life, my hobbies, where I live etc.

My blog plan is alot more of a detailed mess and I don’t want to bore you with the entire list.  What I will say is that I plan on following it for the next three months and see if it helps in getting me excited about blogging again.

Does anyone have a blog plan?

What’s in my bag…

On a daily basis I keep asking myself what do I have in my purse that makes it feel so heavy.  Then I go through it and find that despite the weight, I think I need everything that’s in there.

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A quick snapshot of what adds the weight to my bag (not the best pic but I’m working on it).

In addition to the girly stuff (i.e. hand lotion and chapstick), I carry around these things all the time:

1. My Kindle

2. A notebook and pen or pencil

The Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction book was a Christmas gift to myself and I’ve found that it has sparked a few ‘aha’ moments with my new project.  I’ve highlighted the crap out of it.  Plus I reread it and still find things that gets a new idea going.  Even though I have a Kindle I decided to buy the physical book because a book won’t lose charge or possibly crash on me and I won’t have to wait til my son finishes playing Elmo’s number game to read it.

What do you keep in your bag/purse?