A Break Through in My Sleep!

Two days ago I posted about a block on my writing, a barrier placed by my brain on my stories.  I don’t enjoy calling this Writer’s Block because of all of the stereotypical assumptions that come with that term, from a writer’s POV and a critics.

Still, I was stuck.  And as you may have noticed, I was stuck on two stories, not just one.  Now I also have a day job as well as go to school, both are technically full time.  So while I reread the first lesson in the How to Think Sideways course, I didn’t have time to act on it.

Or so I thought – and at least physically I was correct.  My Muse on the other hand jumped at what Holly calls ‘The Shadow Room’.

All of the following concerns ‘TAaTB’ as I have yet to have had time to also do work for ‘Chasing Maggie’.

I dreamed last night and it was on my characters, the artist and the fitness mogul/biker.  They were honestly things I hadn’t had time to think of, but DID weigh on my subconscious.  The dream I had started out in ‘The Shadow Room’ and lead to the first time one character reveals feelings and leaves the other running.  Literally.

This dream was… amazing.  I was in their bodies, both of them, felt everything.  It was like I was writing/living the scene.  I felt so inspired.

So when I had a moment, I clustered today.  First about the dream and then about the two characters.  Set the timer for 15 minutes (I do most things in 15 minute segments) and before I knew it I was done and was looking up at a BUNDLE of new and interesting clusters on what that scene revealed and one cluster for both characters.  Took only 45 minutes, and now I have something to go on.  Especially because there are some bizarre similarities with the male character as the female character, and they weren’t intentional because the visual (I am a far more visual person) stimulus for the words were completely different.  And not all the words have the same feel, but it’s a similarity non-the-less.  Which makes me want to know what my male character is hiding.

My thought barrier took no thinking at all.  It is SAFE.  Absolutely.  With both stories, especially when writing a sequel to ‘Taking Maggie‘, I am stuck in the SAFE box.  And I didn’t have to look at the description but I did.  “SAFE Never Starts” and it’s true.  The two pages I have for ‘Chasing Maggie’ are the two that were written when I was planning on following up with another chapter.

So SAFE never starts.  The damn-dest thing is, I don’t live a SAFE life.  I am an entrepreneur making very little $ selling products I make BY HAND.  Talk about inviting imperfection and complications.  My husband and I are both full time students as well and I am also chasing this dream of being a writer.  I have no business being in the SAFE zone.

My plan is to follow this up with another session like it tomorrow for ‘Chasing Maggie’.  For now I am going to run with what I have found today.  I’m hoping that when I sit down with these a little later tonight I can overcome the last obstacle for ‘TAaTB’: what pulls them to be in each others lives at first.  Because I only have them in each others’ worlds once a month.  That won’t do.

Stuck and Grumpy – but with a Fix in Mind!

I’m working on two different stories right now and I’m getting a bit stuck with them both.  I have three or four others floating around, but I am determined to finish these two first:

Chasing Maggie (the sequel to Taking Maggie)

The Artist and the Biker (horrible working title)

I am flummoxed with both at this moment, and that’s not a good thing.  Sometimes twists and turns can leave you feeling bewildered as well, but those are often good.  I feel like I was writing and writing and BAM!  Opened up the word document to find a big brick wall in my face!

Now, I know this is what most people call ‘Writer’s Block‘ but I don’t believe it’s something that’s gotta last like so many writers.  I believe that we’ve created the problem and we can solve it.  I’ve had this many times before and there are ways around it – scratch that, there are ways to break through writer’s block.  Not ways around it.

My favorites come from running through Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways over again (though she does have a course in just breaking writer’s block).  I’ve been through the HTTS course fully once.  I’ve gone back for fixes and inspiration many, many times.  I keep finding new things in old lessons, but then Holly’s continuously adding to the freaking thing so there’s new stuff in there I haven’t even encountered.  I don’t really use the huge community, I am more of an introvert then someone who likes to share.  Though I did meet Scarlet Darkwood through it!

I figure I’ll be going through it, and it’s a writing thing, so why not share my stuff here?  Obviously I can’t share her lessons but I can at least share my growth and brainstorms and see how I can break through any walls my muse has put in my path.

And at the same time get through my mental blocks on CM and TAaTB.  Because I am stuck in the same place for both of them.  I have CM plotted out (and even more in that series ready to get written) but I am stuck on PAGE 2!!!  And with TAaTB, I’m stuck with the love interest, Brody – who I am seriously thinking of renaming.

Okay, so that’s it for now.  Off to do the first lesson of the course (which is apparently a new first lesson) and to move on to work and homework (still have to keep up with college).

MIA – But Not Lacking Effort

I’ve been a little MIA recently.  It’s a long story, but it ends up with me now completely self-employed again and working my butt off.  At least until Christmas Eve.  I’m a Buddhist, so Christmas is X-Mas to me, a time to spoil others, appreciate what you have in your life and try your best to let everyone know you love them.  Not too shabby!!

On the writing front I have actually published 4 other short stories since ‘Taking Maggie’…  just under another pen name.  I don’t know that I’ll ever share it with anyone, not because what I am writing would turn others off, but because I feel a bit like Stephen King with his Richard Bachman alter-ego.  When I write as this other “person” I am in a different mindset.  I feel different, I write differently, I even sit differently.  It’s wonderful and a great creative spin.

So it comes down to I have been writing (and tweeting and blogging) but on another front.  Add to that the push I created for sales in my Etsy shop (see the ‘Day Job’ tab above) and I kept myself very busy.

I am onto a new story.  I want this one to be longer, around 15k to 20k words.  It’s funny, I remember when I was younger I couldn’t write shorter works.  Everything I wrote was long and tended towards the side of ‘epic’ in it’s literal and not popularized meaning.  Now though, I love kicking out these short ‘already have feelings, but gotta make it to the sex’ pieces.  Of course, when I was a teen that was a good amount of my fanfic too, just they were longer stories.

At the moment I am in the plotting process for what I am unhappily calling “The Artist and the Biker”.  I can’t wait until I come up with a title for this one, even another working title.  I am getting tired of the ‘and the Biker’ add-ons.  I hope to start writing the actual story by at the latest Monday, but sometime this weekend would be great too.

Lastly, I am considering changing my word count goal.  750 has been the goal, because of how busy I am.  However, since my ultimate goal is to shut down the Etsy shop (or at least only sell things I just make in my off time, if I haven’t made them for me) that means that the writing will have to cover that income.  As I’ve figured that if sales balance out, I’d only need 29 more stories to get to the point where I am a fulltime writer.  And if I want them to be longer (at least some of them) 750 words a day is going to make that finish line stretch out waaaaay too far.

Also, considering the financial crunch I am in right now, I am looking at the very realistic goal of fulltime, mostly self-published writer by the end of 2014.  So… yeah.  Wow.  That with the goal (yoga) of holding myself in Scorpion Pose when I can’t even do Bakasana for longer than 2 seconds…  I’ve got some work to do.

At this time I feel 1200 a day is not too much to ask.  When I start the story, I’ll be aiming for that number on a daily basis.  My goal is to get to 3000 a day by March or April.  With each new story comes a little bit more freedom.  And if I happen to have a day job employed by another company (instead of by myself), I’ll be shutting down the Etsy shop completely for a while.

Alright, off to do more plotting, drink more coffee and work more on the Etsy shop 😀

Cover and Small Personal Story Behind the Newly Published “Mariana Takes Charge”

Whew, I have been so busy recently that I haven’t taken the time I should to blog, even though I’ve got a million topics that I want to discuss. I’ve got orders to complete locally, a dog that we just recently adopted that is still sick and needs attention, my anniversary coming up this Sunday, another cover to work out with Velary, three other stories that are priorities, but thLeo&MarianaCoveren I’ve also got the house to clean, new products to design and create, products to post that have been waiting, and just general day job stuff.  Then I am also trying to take a few minutes out of my days to draw and study with Holly Lisle’s ‘How to Think Sideways’ course.

I am in desperate need of a stronger, more all-encompassing routine, lol.

For now I just wanted to note that ‘Mariana Takes Charge‘ is now up for sale!  And as usual it’s a quickie under 6k, so it’s priced at only .99 cents!

I really enjoyed writing this one, it’s unique in the way that I have an odd personal connection to it.

This bit won’t help sell the book I am sure.  I should be sitting here talking about how sexy it is, or what juicy parts I liked… but I’m a real person, not just an author trying to market.  And I feel that if I am writing here on my blog, I want to do it as me.

Usually I put myself out there in my writing – don’t we all?  But I started writing this story based off of a conversation that a friend and I had, a friend that has recently passed away.  He was a really good guy and when he died I realized I had to finish writing this.  Not that this is a tribute to him, that would be a bit weird.  But it’s just the connection I have with the story.  It felt good to finish it, and to get it published.

I’ve added him as a character to another book – this one not erotica – and that piece will most certainly encapsulate his personality and be a real attempt at showing the world what a complex and great person he was.

That being said, ‘Mariana Takes Charge‘ is more of a twist to real life, substituting another person (Mariana) as the main character and seeing where it all could have gone in a different world.  I do that a lot.  Please, if there are other writers out there, let me know if you do this too!  Sort of a AU for your own life events (whether you are in the stories as a thinly veiled character or it’s just someone completely different).

I did want to thank Scarlett Darkwood and Liza Search for the quick betas, and Velary-Ann Maddox for the cover.