It has been about two weeks since the last podcast as I was forced to take a break.
Everyone has a different process and experience with creating art. The more stressed I am, the more my process disintegrates until I am unable to create anything of quality.
My favorite motto has always been that inspiration comes from a sufficient amount of laziness. I say this with tongue firmly in cheek, but I indeed need to have rest and happiness in my life to write. My process for poetry does not follow this rule. When my life hits the absolutely deepest pit it can possibly descend to, I write poetry.
However, if I want to write words that do not reek of despair, retain some form of logic, and do not rhyme – rest and happiness are mandatory.
So, I asked myself a question:
How do I enter a state that is conducive to creation and art?
During this week of enforced recovery I utilized five techniques:
Enough sleep and rest: After the week of enforced relaxation ended, I realized some critical things. Rest is crucial. No one can function on an empty tank. You are not a robot. If you do not put fuel in, you will sputter out.
Exercise: Moderate stress with external means. Exercise utilizes the fight or flight response and rids the body of hormones that cause anxiety. Exercise is especially necessary during this quarantine. No one can stay shut in forever without losing their mind. Get fresh air and sunlight. Our bodies are not designed to be stuck inside enclosed spaces for weeks or months at a time. I made sure to go outside often, even if it was just to take my kid to the park.
Herbal teas: I did some research, then put myself on a regimen of herbal teas ( sleepytime tea with chamomile and valerian). The combined herbs of chamomile and valerian are natural remedies that assist in regulating stress.
Me Time: Doing things that add joy to your life is important. If you are not, is it any wonder you are stressed? This is part of refilling your tank. I love reading books, watching Chinese dramas, and listening to music and motivational speeches. When I neglect to do things that make me happy, staying strong becomes extremely difficult. Me time is a must.
Creating a happy space: Creating an environment where you can thrive is also critical. Do you hate your surroundings? Do you have at least one place that you can let down your guard and relax? If you do not, create one. Whether that place is your room or a closet, you must have a space you call your own. You need to be able to enter that space and feel a sense of peace. If every place you enter feels like a warzone, it is no wonder you are stressed! Prioritize creating a safe space for your peace of mind.
Life can feel as though it is smothering you. Self-care is mandatory during these times. Make sure to do something for yourself, even if it is something small. Doing this is essential for your peace of mind.
Feeling good and ready to hit the ground running, too.
I have begun re-editing the beginning chapters of Dragon Kin. And although reading it after so long a hiatus made me cringe–the break was much needed. I could see what needed to be ripped out with no mercy and restructured into something much more coherent.
This was good.
I hate editing, but it also feels good when you know you’re fine-tuning the flow of your entire work.
I won’t hesitate to say that this will be a process, because it’s not the only project on my plate right now….which leads us into:
RGAA: Real Girlfriends Across America. If some of you have been following my pics and posts on my life story on messenger (maybe 5 of you have? lol) You’ll have noticed that I am currently working with a group of women that are all about networking and building up women in their work spaces.
I absolutely love this experience. Interacting with these women have encouraged me to restart on my creative process–something that I had abandoned because I believed life was too much for me to handle while trying to write/edit at the same time.
I’m on fire now, and it’s all to the credit of these awesome women.
From time to time, I’ll be forwarding their posts, because I strongly believe they have something to offer.
Full disclaimer, I’ve also written some of the blog posts on their site, and hosted some podcasts that they produce.
In any event, feel free to check out their site HERE and make sure to listen to some of the episodes of the podcast HERE.
Yes, that’s right. I have written the last word of The Dragon Throne.
*Massive cheering ensues*
Now, begins the long and tortuous task of editing the entire thing which is 121k+ words long. The book will have to be divided in two as it’s much too long for one YA novel. I’m not certain how long this editing process will take, but then I really hadn’t figured on completing the series before the end of this year.
So I’m definitely ahead of schedule.
Although, it did take me forever to finish the book up to this point, so there is that to consider.
However, for those of you who were wondering when or even if I was going to finish the trilogy, I am ecstatic to state that, yes, it is finished.
I know I’ve used the above image before, but it’s so appropriate and handy ^.^
Anyways, to the business at hand!
It has been a loooong time since I have posted – culpa mia, desculpame. I do, however, have some valid reasons – please hear me out!
After returning to California after the my husband’s funeral, I stayed with my family for awhile as they helped me and my two young children work through grief and readjust to our new circumstances.
Once my children and I had been there with my family long enough (trust me there is a time limit to how long anyone can bear living with their mother) I then proceeded to move me and my children two hours away to the wonderful, and hot, capitol of California.
That move, of course, required another period of readjustment as my oldest needed to be placed in the new school system, and my youngest needed to find a daycare.
While my oldest has succeeded in adjusting to her new life very well, my youngest is experiencing some small difficulties (not really small actually) and I’m currently considering homeschooling my youngest to prepare her for kindergarten.
If I do this, this will make any small amount of time I might have had to write nearly non-existent.
So here it is:
First, the bad news: I am struggling to finish the very last section of the last part of the book that will complete The Dragon Throne series, and it will most likely take alot of time. I don’t know how long considering my current situation. After it is completed, it will then have to be vigorously edited. I don’t know how long that will take either, although, if I compare other stories I have written of comparable length, it might take anywhere from an additional 6 months to a year. And that is just the edits. Then there is the preparation for publication – which actually doesn’t take all that long in comparison to actually writing the darn thing.
Second, the good news: I am almost done. I swear I am. I just don’t know how long it will take to write the last part!
So, there you have it!
I want to thank those of you who have been keeping tabs on me and the story – you are my motivation to finish – and finish as quickly as possible. You really don’t know how it touches my heart (both in the warm and fuzzy way, and in the painful guilty way) when I see your messages.
You all have been so patient with me, I beg your patience awhile longer!
SOOOO…. After many weeks/months of drowning myself in the news, I’ve finally realized that “the News” has been strangling my ability to be creative. It strangled it to the point where I didn’t have the desire to write. I finally realized this after wondering what has been keeping me from writing lately.
I figured out a couple things:
-I can’t write when I’m distracted
-I can’t write when my life situation is overwhelming or too busy
-I can’t write when I’m stressed
-The News does all of these things to me
So, apparently, when I watch too much news – the desire to write goes down in comparison.
And, truthfully, the only thing in the news right now is stress, panic, and disaster. So, I’ve gotta take a break. I want to write again – I want to want to write again.
Alot of things have happened in the last four years that definitely damaged my ability to do that, but I miss the flow. I want it back. I hope it comes back.
I was delighted to discover that The Dragon’s Call Audiobook just received an amazingly thorough review! Check it out HERE.
Meanwhile, the reviewer notes that the sequel has been long delayed.
I have to apologize to those who have taken the time to read Cecily and Derek’s story. As the reviewer notes, I did experience a several personal tragedies while writing the sequel: my father passed, I experienced two separate miscarriages, then my husband passed during the writing of this story.
As a result it has taken a long time to stabilize and the word count has suffered as a result.
Derek and Cecily’s tale is still a work in progress though the actual writing process has been hampered.
The sequel to The Dragon’s Call will be named The Dragon Throne and, while the first half of the sequel is complete, the second half is still in the process of completion.
Nonetheless, it is always a wonderful boost when readers enjoy the story, and definitely helps boost the writing process forward.
I thank those who have read this story so much for their continued support along with the notes I have received from those who can’t wait to find out what happens to Derek and Cecily.
So far, pushing myself to write a sub each week feels good. The max amount of words for each week is only 400 words, which is perfect. There is absolutely no way to feel intimidated by a writing assignment that tells you not to write more than 1/3 of a page!
It’s also a really great feeling to be able to connect with authors who are piecing together their own work.
Getting back into the writing rhythm has led me to think more on The Dragon Throne series, along with the best way to connect with more readers. Many of the ways that writers connect with readers involve connecting with book review blogs and doing book tours, but I really want to find out a more organic way of connecting – if there even is one. Toward this end, I listened to a conference which stated that the problem is how to market the product.
As a reader and writer the very idea of thinking of books in that way hurts my bookworm soul, but that’s exactly how the traditional publishing companies think.