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.

Writing personalities…

I came across this post on Pinterest about writing personalities. The pinner had gotten her results based on an assessment done on her writing. I thought this was pretty interesting and looked into it further.

The information is from Lulu.com.  The website says this about it:

“The Helix Review analyzes your writing against more than 100,000 bestsellers cataloged as part of The Book Genome Project. See into your writing in ways you never thought possible, and gain new, invaluable insights for better marketing and selling your book.”

Getting your writing personality results is a paid service so if you don’t mind dishing out the funds it would be interesting to find out how yor work is classifed and the other well-known authors that write similarly to you.

Writing Personalities... EDBP of course!

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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.

 

 

Camp Nanowrimo

Where should I begin about Camp Nano?

The short version is I didn’t meet my word count goal and with just a few days left, I definitely won’t make it to 30k.  I wrote close to 10k words and couldn’t go any further.

Now for the long version.

I started off pretty good but just fell off along the way.  I’m starting to wonder why that is since this is basically what happened the last time I attempted to do Camp Nano.

My problem seems to be the fact that I keep going over what I have already written and fixing things.  I can’t just write and put off editing little things like bad spelling for later.  I have to fix it.  I see that little red line and I can’t not go back and make it go away.

The other reason could be that my story probably wasn’t ready yet.  My outline was incomplete and needed more developing but I thought at the time that I had enough to give it a shot.  Obviously that was a bad idea.

But I learned a lesson.  I won’t say I will never try Camp Nano again or never attempt the November Nano.  I will however make sure I am alot more prepared and that I am ready to start writing.

How has Camp Nano been for you? Please share.

 

 

 

If I could spend 15 mins with…

For this Monday’s writing related post I wanted to write about one of my favourite authors of all time… Octavia Butler.

Butler has been on my list of faves since I came across her obituary in the NY Times while I was in college.  I was surprised to learn that there was an African American female science fiction author.  I’ve always enjoyed sci-fi and was thrilled to find out about her.  That very same day I visited the nearest Barnes & Noble to find her books.  I’ve read just about all of her work that I can find.  Lillith’s Brood and Fledgling are two of my favourites.

If I could spend 15 minutes with Octavia Butler…I’d ask:

  • What sparks her story ideas?
  • Does she let a story ripen for months and years before attempting to write?
  • Was she a pantser?
  • The only story she has that I’ve never managed to complete is Bloodchild. It freaks me out.  What sort of things inspire stories like those?
  • Do you think that african american/black authors have come far in the science fiction genre?
  • What was her writing space like?
  • What advice would she have for her younger self about writing and would she change anything about her journey to becoming a published author?

If you could spend some time with anyone famous who would it be?

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.