Posted in General

The Victor Ehindero Award

This is a long overdue post and I’m so sorry for leaving it for so long! However, getting right into it, a massive thank you to the very lovely Obort for nominating me for the Victor Ehindero Award. If you haven’t yet, you absolutely need to go look at her blog The Sublime Ink. Her writing is so powerful and resonates for hours after reading it.

The Answers

  • Dream Job?

Actually, I’ve got two. The first is that I would love to be a full-time writer comfortably living off my writing. The second however, is to own and manage my own bookstore or cafe.

  • Where would you go for vacation?

Italy! I’ve wanted to go for years.

  • What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

My long-hair cat won’t let me out of bed until she’s cuddled me sufficiently, so petting her is the first thing. After that it’s getting coffee.

  • Hobbies?

Art and graphic design (both of which I want to improve in). Following those, I dabble a little in jewelry making.

  • 3 words that best describe you?

Stubborn. Intelligent. Creative.

  • Strawberry, Chocolate or Vanilla?

Strawberry ice cream, chocolate cake, vanilla frosting.

The Nominees

Marina Sofia of findingtimetowrite

Ivy of Ivy’s Well Used Library Card.

Both the Alchemist himself and Chairman Meow of The Alchemist’s Studio.

The Rules

  1. Thank whoever nominated you!
  2. Make a post of the award with the logo.
  3. Answer the questions.
  4. Post the rules.
  5. Nominate someone else (the more the better!) Don’t forget to notify your nominees.
  6. Post 5-10 questions.

The Questions

  1. What’s your favorite season?
  2. What one thing do you want to learn?
  3. How many pets do you have? (Bonus: include pictures!)
  4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  5. What’s your most treasured possession?

Check out the above blogs and don’t forget to visit The Sublime Ink as well!

Posted in General, recaps

A Project Announcement

I am super excited.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might have noticed that I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I had a project I wanted to start showing off in July. Although that initial timeline ultimately didn’t go as planned, I’m finally at a point where I can tell you a little bit about it.

To start, you may remember The Spinning Wheel Trade which I released back in June. That tied in to my other short, Season of Preparing, both of which are set in the same universe as my novella, Crimson and Gold. All three of those are connected to my newest project.

Which, I have a cover image for.

I’m excited to share more about this in the next couple of weeks. Are you?

Posted in General

June of 2020

When I started writing this post, I wanted to focus on June and what’s happened this month. It was supposed to be the same as any of my other recap posts.  As I wrote however, it felt false and in many ways, forced.

June has been a painful and frustrating month. For me, the first week and a half was filled with moving to the new house as well as transferring to a new job location. The fire season in my state is above average; we won’t see an end to that until monsoons begin. Here in America, clashes have started because of systematic racial discrimination and blatantly willful ignorance. On a widest scale, there is a global pandemic which we cannot combat, and is forcing us to adapt as a global society.

These are not new issues. There are many of them and they are all frustrating and painful. They are large issues and when you’re faced with how to handle them all together, it can feel as impossible as trying to turn the tide. You feel small and helpless as one person. One person cannot turn the tide.

One person can, however, clean up a beach.

One person can tell a story.

One person can spare a dollar or a dime.

One person can adopt a dog.

One person can read a book.

One person can lend a hand.

You do not have to do all of these things. You are one person, but you are not the only one. While you write the story, someone else will read it. While you lend a hand for an hour, someone else will give spare change where it’s needed. While you rescue an animal, someone else is cleaning up the beach.

We are all just one person, but there are billions of people on the planet. Imagine the impact we could make if we all collectively made one choice to help someone or something else in need. That might be helping an elderly neighbor collect their groceries. That might be volunteering or donating to an animal shelter. That might be deliberately finding a new creator to support. That tiny action impacts someone else. A single action of kindness, of empathy, of simple positivity.

Every month, I like to put an aim in my agenda. Usually it’s something for me to work on personally, but I think the one I put down for May of 2019 fits here. Small positives create large impacts.

There are plenty of awful things in the world, but there is a reason why there’s always a story somewhere about the good things. Maybe it’s about a child who cuts off her hair to donate. Maybe it’s about the police officers who help a child’s lemonade stand. Maybe it’s that story about a kitten who finds a forever home.

These are the small positives. They might only stay with you for a moment. They might be the story you remember vaguely years later, but they are the positives. They are the reminders that yes, things are awful. The world is a terrible place with tragedies and travesties galore.

But it’s also full of people. Singular people that, together, have an enormous power. Your share of that power is not as minute as it seems. Those small positives collect and inspire more positives. They create a force of positive change.

Pick one thing. Be that writing a letter to a friend. Be that supporting a diverse creator. Be that offering time or donation to an organization. Be that offering to do an extra chore for a family member. Be whatever it is, pick one thing.

June has not been an easy month. 2020 has already been an trying year and we still have another six months to get through. But we’re not done yet.

Posted in General

Building Tension

One of those constantly talked about pieces of writing advice is tension. Make sure your story has tension. Let the tension ebb and flow. Raise the tension. The big question a lot of advice skirts around is where tension comes from, and how you manage it.

In the short term: tension comes from conflict. By definition it’s the stretched force between two opposing forces. It’s not unlike the rope in a tug-of-war game. Two opposing goals are straining to pull each other over.  

Speaking long term, tension is the long-term driving force behind conflict. If there’s no obstacle to your character getting their goal, there’s no tension. However, if you add in obstacles, then there’s more conflict. That additional obstacle creates tension because it stretches out the space between your character deciding on a goal and achieving it.

When starting out on creating tension, take a look at what obstacles your characters have to go through to get to their goals. What could possibly get in their way? This might be another character’s goals, or a particular requirement such as a law or deadline, or even a physical complication such as a locked dor. Obstacles create tension because your character must solve them in order to get to their goal.

If you need to ramp up the tension, add stakes. This is where your conflicts can go from simple to tense. A character who needs to find a piece of paper has a conflict: they’re missing a piece of paper. It’s a conflict, but what happens when you make that paper the last letter they had from their late sister? That’s personal stakes, ones which create more conflict because it’s a moment of their late sister. Need that tension to be even greater? make it the last letter from their late sister which they need to prove her innocent, posthumously.

Tension and conflict often build of each other, so if you’re feeling a section of your story needs more of a driving force behind it, take a look at the tension. Consider if you have enough obstacles to keep your characters busy, and if their stakes are high enough to keep them invested in solving their conflict.

Posted in blogging, General

May Recap

It’s been a whirlwind of a month. It’s hard to believe it’s already over. There’s been a huge amount of changes, starting with: I’m moving! It’s only to the other side of the city, but it’s still a massive amount of work to get everything done.

Writing-wise I’ve got a smaller project finished and ready to go through edits. I’m really excited to see how it goes and I’m hoping to start showing it in July. Keep an eye out for more information on it!

I’m behind on tracking my word count for the month. It’s all been written down in my agenda, which got packed. As soon as I can get those numbers put in I’ll be able to get an accurate count for the month. For right now, I feel like I didn’t get a huge amount written for May.

How was your May?