Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group: I Have A Secret

It's the first Wednesday of the month!  You know what that means...It's time for an Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) post.  

And what is this, you ask?  For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, it was the brilliant brainchild of our ninja captain, Mr. Alex Cavanaugh.  Alex is a truly awesome guy, and started the IWSG so that writers from all walks and stages on this crazy, amazing journey could come together and share stories, advice, fears, support.... you name it... we've got it!

SO.  I've been keeping a secret.  

Yuuuppp.... and a fairly big one, at that.  

It's something that I haven't shared with anyone... none of my friends, nor my family (except my sister).

I keep it deep inside, afraid to show the world.

...Yet it won't be even the tiniest bit of a surprise to any of you...

I write.  

I want to be a writer.

I AM a writer.  

No one knows this.  No one at work.  Not even my very best friends.  Sometimes it seems like I'm living two lives, chasing two careers... each integral to who I am.  

The one where I wake up every morning, hustle out of bed, go through the motions to drag myself out of the house and onto the train... eventually finding myself chained to my desk, scheduling deployments and pumping out reports...

The other where I can barely wait to slip upstairs, open up my laptop, double click that word doc... anticipating the excitement when that cursor flashes provocatively at me, while my fingers itch to fly across the keyboard...

Okay, so it's not exactly rocket science that writing is where I'm happiest ;)  

I'm not sure why I've been keeping it a secret.  

Perhaps it's because writing is such a personal journey.  When you think about it... you are literally pouring your soul out onto a tiny scrap of paper, transcribing your deepest, innermost thoughts from the darkest recesses of your mind... bringing them into the sunlight, rust, cobwebs and all..

It's real... it's honest... it's raw...

I'm not quite sure I'm ready for the world to see.

Maybe I want to have something to show for it first...

What about you guys?  Have any of you kept your writing a secret?  Told the world, your closest friends?  And why have you or haven't you?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dreamers... In a Dangerous Time

Don't the hours grow shorter as the days go by
You never get to stop and open your eyes
One day you're waiting for the sky to fall
The next you're dazzled by the beauty of it all...

Sometimes you're made to feel as if your love's a crime
But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight...

Who remembers this song?   Barenaked Ladies.

It's been stuck in my head for the last thirty minutes...randomly... as I racked my brain for which of the million and one things I wanted to write about today.  I have no idea where it came from.  

But the lyrics keep repeating.  

I used to do a "Words for Wednesday" post every week.  Usually it was inspired by a specific quote or phrase or song I'd heard at some point.  These particular words seemed fitting for a mini revival of that exercise.

The song is called "Lovers in a Dangerous Time".  

I'm a Dreamer.  I have always been a dreamer.  I suspect I will always be a dreamer.  People often tell me I just don't see things the way the real world presents them.   The way they're meant to be seen.

I think they're right.  But I also like to think perception is open to interpretation.  

I wouldn't want to be anything else.  Maybe a part of me will always retain my inner child.  It makes me sad how as we grow older, we start to lose our wonder, that spark, the joy in the belief that anything is possible...anything...

It hasn't been easy.  The last few years have been... difficult... interesting... to say the least.  But I wouldn't change a second of it.  

Nothing worth having usually comes without some kind of a fight.  

It's true.  

Don't you value and appreciate the things you had to work for much more than what's been handed to you?  Those glittering, shattered shards you had to fight for with all your heart and soul?  They didn't come easy, they kept you up at night...they pushed you forwards... they made you try harder... they made you wish upon that star...

We do indeed live in a dangerous time... where moments disappear in the blink of an eye.  Where yesterday's highs crash as quickly as today's lows vault up.  

Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight...

Life keeps moving.  It never stops.  The sun always rises though, doesn't it?  

Keep fighting for your dream.  Keep kicking at the darkness.  Eventually you will find that crack... the silver lining that evaded your grasp, but was always there.  

And it will grow.  It will flourish and it will thrive.  

Even on those days when it seems like everything is falling apart.  You will fall back together again.  I promise.

Okay... question time... naturally ;)

Are you a dreamer or grounded in reality?  A little bit of both?  What is something you're currently fighting for?  And who was (is) a fan of this song? 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Dealing With Change

Oh my gosh guys... I can't believe it's been 4 years since I posted one of these!

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means a brand new post for The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG).  

For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, it was the brilliant brainchild of our ninja captain, Mr. Alex Cavanaugh.  Alex is a truly awesome guy, and started the IWSG so that writers from all walks and stages on this crazy, amazing journey could come together and share stories, advice, fears, support.... basically, anything goes.

And seeing as how I just returned to the blogging world exactly one month ago, an IWSG post was exactly up my alley ;).

Soo guys... I've been struggling.

Returning to blogging, to writing... hasn't been as easy as I planned.  Even though nothing feels more like home to me, it's been a constant battle.  I've been wrestling with ideas, posting schedules, getting back into the groove of things, finding my pace again.

And so much has changed!

Even just navigating through the blogosphere seems to now require a handbook!  And while I know it's merely readjusting, familiarizing myself with the new sites, and all these shiny new buttons, it has blown my mind just how different things are four years later!

Apparently I don't handle change very well either :P

But it's a part of life.  No matter where you are or how ready, change is inevitable.  It happens whether you like it or not.  Sometimes it sneaks up on you... a slap in the face... other times, you have months to prepare, and yet you still find yourself standing outside the door.. unwilling to turn the knob.

I doubt I'll ever learn to fully embrace change right away.  I think a small part of me may always resist to some extent... at least at first... at least until I'm comfortable.  Because while humans are creatures of habit, we were also made to adapt, to grow, to keep moving

We will figure it out as we go, even if the path isn't straight and narrow, or clear cut, or even a path at all.  

After all, at the end of the day, isn't that what change truly is?  The ability to keep going, keep trying, and keep reaching, no matter what curve balls life throws at you.

How about you guys?  How do you deal with change?  Do you feel the blogosphere has significantly changed in the last little while (or is it just me!)?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Back From Hiatus... 4 Years Later... And Here We Go!

Ahem... Knock, knock... Anybody home...?

Hello again friends :)

It's been a VERY long time.  Far too long...

I'm having a hard time believing that my last post was in February, 4 years ago.  4 years ago guys...  

As a result, it seemed quite fitting to return in February too.  

I've truly MISSED all of you!!  And I will freely admit that I have silently creeped on most of you over the last few years.  Come on... could I really stay away? ;)

I'm sad to see some of you have stopped blogging, or taken a break (although I'm not one to talk ;)), yet ecstatic that so many of my other favorites are still going strong.  I will be around to visit each and every one of you over the coming weeks, I promise :)

I'm sorry for disappearing.  

It wasn't planned, nor was it expected.  Life took... an interesting turn, to say the least.  It's funny how people always say, "well, life got in the way"... I'm not sure I really understood what that meant until now.  Life does indeed get in the way.  Sometimes, life has other plans for you.. and suddenly, without warning, you find yourself on a completely unintended path, winding down an unfamiliar river, all the while hoping you emerge somewhere safe and dry.  

I've meant to return to blogging for quite some time now.  It feels like a part of me was missing the entire time I was away.  Yet I was struggling.  Struggling with where I was, what I wanted, where I was going....but to make my life my own again... While I could see the end goal.. I couldn't quite reach it... couldn't quite touch it...

These last few years have been filled with change... with the unexpected... with loads of uncertainty at every turn, each corner met with an uncanny mixture of unprecedented endings, and hopeful new beginnings.

Sort of like some of my favorite books ;)

While so much has the grander scheme of things, it also seems like it all stayed the same.  I've grown, I've evolved, I've learned, I've loved, I've fallen apart.  I've felt like my very soul was being ripped out at times... But somehow...most of all... I'm still me... I'm still here.  

I will have some updates of my journey over the upcoming weeks, as well as a possible revamp of the blog.  

I'm still writing, I'm still hoping, I'm still dreaming.  

I hope you are too.

Now... your turn! Tell me, fill me in... I want to know everything!  How have you guys been?  What's new?  What's changed?  

Any one of you wonderful, amazing writers get signed while I was gone?  Do you have books out?  New series?  I hope you did, I hope you do and I can't wait to celebrate with you!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Catch Fire Blog Party!

Alright guys... it's finally here... the long awaited and anticipated event!!


Alex, our very own Ninja Captain, is releasing the sequel to his incredible novel CassaStar.

I've known Alex for almost two years, and honestly, I can't say enough about him. Always ready to lend a helping hand or offer support in any way, Alex is one of the most down to earth, awesome, incredible bloggers/authors out there, and I am so honored to be able to share in his journey.

Please continue reading for more details, and don't forget to check out Alex's site... I PROMISE you, you will not be disappointed!

Today is the Catch Fire Blog Party, celebrating the release of CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh! The goal is to help CassaFire “catch fire” on the best seller charts and achieve the success of the first book, CassaStar.

There’s also a special package of prizes being given away at the author’s blog (copies of CassaFire, CassaStar, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks) as well as book giveaways during his two-week blog tour (February 27 - March 9).

Check it out!!

See Alex’s site for additional details:


by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Available today!

Barnes and Noble


Amazon Kindle

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

Okay... are you still here? Why are you still here? Go get your copy of CassaFire today!!! :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: OMG.. is it REALLY 2012?

So... uh... did anyone notice that 2012 just sort of snuck up on us? No? Is it just me?

Happy New Year guys!!!!

I think I may have officially won the award for worst blogger these last couple of months. I'm currently in the middle of a fantastic cold that I managed to get RIGHT before New Year's Eve... so it sort of delayed my return even more... *hides face in shame*

I was looking at last year's resolutions (naturally), and I realized I'd come down with the flu during the holiday season in 2010 as well. Weird, huh?

I don't think I'm going to make a list of resolutions this year... I'm terrible with them... but I will make just one though, and it's in honor of our monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group (which by the way, is an awesome way to start the new year and return to blogging - thanks Alex!).

And here it is:


That's it.

(And it's so serendipitous how this theme seems to be EVERYWHERE lately ;) )

Sometimes this is the hardest part of being a writer... believing in yourself.

I know it's something I've struggled with tremendously in the past year. Some days have seemed beyond bleak, and I wondered what I was trying to prove. Why I continued to tread down this path when most of the time it seemed like I was getting nowhere.

It's not true. Every single process, every erased word, every daunting scene, every rewrite, every mistake made, every lesson learned... they move us forward.

So deep down, I know why I don't give up... even if I forget sometimes.

I love it.

Plain and simple. It makes me feel peace in this world of chaos. All the tiny pieces of my heart and soul that are tugged in a million different directions throughout each and every day all slip back into place when I look at that page.

I feel alive.

It reminds me of who I am, of my hopes and dreams... without writing, a piece of me is missing. A part of me goes dark and hollow and I never realize what is bothering me until I pick up that pen again.

And... because I DO believe in it... more than I have anything else.

I've been working on this book for 3 years now. 3 YEARS. I know the exact day I started it. It's been through several overhauls, and there are probably several more to come.

But I believe in it. I will keep believing in it. And I believe in each and every one of you. And I will keep believing in each and every one of you.

So there we have it... my resolution for this year... I'm going to believe in me and you, and all that we can do.

I wish everyone an awesome 2012... filled with oodles of agent requests and book deals and author signings. And here's hoping... no BELIEVing... that all of our dreams come true.

Because they will, guys. They will :)

What are your resolutions for the new year?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Will Be Back Soon

Hey Guys,

So sorry for my absence from the blogosphere. I shall be back in the next week or two. Just finishing up another round of revisions, and then things should go back to normal I hope.

I miss you guys! How is everyone doing?

Any of you participating in NaNo this year? How are those WiP's going?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Kisses

I've recently discovered these incredibly addictive molasses candies that I am totally and completely in love with.

Okay, re-discovered is more like it.

Do you know the ones I'm talking about? The toffee like pieces of candy that come individually wrapped in the orange, yellow and black paper? I used to get these in my Halloween bag all the time, and I remember sorting them out and putting them in the "not so great" pile.

How could they possibly compare to peanut butter cups or chocolatey covered nougat? But that never stopped me from unwrapping one or two, just for the heck of it (I mean, who was I to waste candy?).

A few days ago, I bit into one and it immediately took me back to my childhood. They're soft and gooey and chewy, and oh-so-good. And even though I saw absolutely no value in them back then, that one bite almost fifteen years later changed things.

Not only did they have value, but I actually chose to get them over the Mars Bars.

So, of course, one thing led to another, and you just know it got me thinking. A lot of the time we may write off a scene, chapter or entire novel, because it doesn't fit into our current goals and objectives. And I know the golden rule is to cut what doesn't work. Clean it up.

But then again, maybe it just doesn't work right now.

Save it. Come back to it. Maybe it will better fit somewhere else in your life... at a different point, in a different chapter... in a new story. Go through your shelved manuscripts, your long forgotten short stories. Who knows? You may just find a sweet treasure hidden within the pages.

So, my burning question.... what's your favorite Halloween candy? ;) AND, have you ever found ideas in an old MS or story that you could use now?

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Blank Page

As you guys know, I'm currently hacking my way through edits on my MS.

Right now, I'm staring at Chapter One, wondering how I can rework it.


I've already changed it three times. And to be honest, there is nothing more I can do.

It's time. To scrap the whole thing and start over.

With a blank page.

Let's face it. A blank page is scary. As a writer, it can be hard to find anything more intimidating than that empty white screen with the flashing cursor.

But there is also something refresing and reassuring about the blank page. Because in reality, it's hope in disguise, even though it seems to be dressed up for Halloween, ready to haunt you.

There are no limits. The prospects are endless. Instead of working with what you've got, you have the freedom to explore, to create, to venture outside the confinement of your scene or chapter.

It's a canvas of possibility.

Even when you're halfway through edits and your story is pretty much complete. Sometimes it's even better, because you already have your framework. You know where you want to go... Where you need to end up. You just need to remove yourself from the slush. Rehashing and overthinking your scene can become repetitive, stirring the same spot over and over until all you have is one big pile of messy scrambled eggs.

Set it aside. Open a new page. And see what you come up with. You might be surprised.

Have you guys ever reached the point where you need to edit your scenes/chapters by starting afresh? Do you find it easier than trying to make sense of what you've got when it's not working? What works for you?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Keep On Truckin'

A guy wrote this in my ninth grade yearbook. That's it. No "see you next year" or "it's been cool knowing you". Just "Keep on truckin'" scrawled above his name.

After that I heard the expression everywhere, and it used to drive me crazy. Who even says that?

It drifted back to my mind recently as I've been struggling through edits. This book is finished guys, but it's still not...right. I can feel it. I know it can be better. I know there's still lots of work to do.

One of the most difficult things in this process so far has been the following:

Looking at a swelling 100k MS, realizing I have to add at least 30k more and then cut 50k... well... it's pretty daunting.

No, I'm lying. It's downright scary. And this is when the book is still living in only my hands.

But I soldiered on. And I did it. But it's still not finished.

And it won't be finished until it's the best I can make it. I feel like that moment is just around the corner... I hope, but I won't know until I feel it.

Until then... I'll just keep on truckin'. I think I've finally learned to appreciate exactly what this means.

Don't give up.

Don't let go.

Don't stop fighting.

Stay with it.

This is your dream, and you deserve it. The hard work will pay off in the end. It always does.

Sooo... which part of this process have you found the most difficult? The easiest? Are you soldiering on... because you better be!

Have a great weekend guys :)