Off, Off & Away

The day is August 31, 2012, and my clock currently reads 1:19 AM.  By the time you read this post I’ll already be a plane, halfway to Boston to begin my sophomore year in college.  But that’s not why I’m writing this post, sure I could write about my family, and valuing every minute with others, and saying goodbye, yada yada yada but I’m trying to steer out of the pit of emotions that I often live in.

Instead this post is about my summer and all the things I’ve accomplished and you can accomplish in three months.  

My summer officially started after my last final exam sometime in mid-late May of 2012.  I was so excited to come home but when I got here I found that life hadn’t changed that much (go figure).  Well, my dad took my brother, sister, and I on a vacation to South Padre, it was amazing and a great way to destress from college.

I’m not positive but I think that’s when I started or at least when I really got into writing my (now, first completed) manuscript, BLOOD OF ISIS.  

In classic Patrice style, I told no one, and I spent time (whenever I wasn’t at the beach) writing.  I actually began and almost finished BLOOD OF ISIS completely by writing it by hand in a few notebooks (it was such a pain to type it!).

Then I began my summer job, I hated it, all of that paperwork, copying, &completely mundane tasks but if it were not for that job two things wouldn’t have happened:  1) BLOOD OF ISIS might not be/ever have been finished 2)I would have never started Diary of a Paper Pusher.

  1. I had so much free time during that job, in fact (especially towards the end of the summer) 75% of the time I was doing nothing 7 what better use of my time than writing, so write I did.
  2. You might but you probably don’t know about Diary of a Paper Pusher, but in short it was my way of dealing life as a bored intern.  And seriously, what better way if there of dealing with anything than satirizing & writing about it :)  If you click on the link above you will see that it didn’t exist for very long & it’s full of horrible grammar.  However it gave way to Whimsically Yours and that is what’s important…maybe I’ll make a book out of it one day (?).

During the time I was writing BLOOD OF ISIS, I started this blog (on June 25th).  At the time I had started many blogs, had recently created another one, however I never kept those blogs more than a couple weeks.  Somehow a combination of frustration over starting and never finishing blogs (TBH I don’t think I was inspired enough by those) and frustration over feeling like no one was listening to/valued my opinions led me to starting this blog.

I could quote statistics: page views, followers…but none of that is truly important what’s important is that I validated myself.  I gave myself faith in me which after the many ups & downs of my first year in college and previous years in high school, was exactly what I needed.  Honestly, had it not been for this summer I don’t think I would have ever wrote a book, started a blog, created a writer website, started writing two new WIPs, got closer to family & friends, fell back in love with reading, and made some amazing connections with fellow writers, bloggers, and so forth.

So I just want to say to everyone reading this, you can do it.  You really can.  What’s important is that you keep trying.  I am no where close to where I am to be I’m only touching the tip of the life boat.  I still have to figure out how to get in (without toppling it over), get to the shore, and back on my feet again.  But the important thing is that I have begun the journey.

If my life was an epic fantasy, say LOTR, Gandalf has already come knocking, I’ve found out about the ring, I’ve decided to begin the journey, I’ve got to Bree, and I’m currently at Rivendell where the Fellowship of the Rings has just been formed.  This is not me knocking down my accomplishments, rather it’s me being realistic and accepting the fact that I still have a long way to go before I reach Mordor.  However at this point I do realize that there’s no turning back; Shire life, for me, is no more.   Am I scared?  A little I would be a fool not to be–fear is what keeps us fighting for those dreams to come true and goals to be reached–but more than anything I’m excited, I can’t wait and most importantly I’m proud of myself which is something I haven’t been in a long time.

(I hope I didn’t confuse you with my analogy–if I did first click here & buy & read it, then click here (because you’ll still probably be confused/won’t remember everything) and if all else fails watch the movie) :)

What are you summer accomplishments, future goals, dreams aspirations???  And if you really want a challenge–how far are you on your epic journey (liken it to a book or movie for funsies)? :)

Yay!!!

So a while ago I entered one of SimonTEEN’s book giveaways, it was for a hardcover copy of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer & an ARC of The Evolution of Mara Dyer.  So I entered the giveaway thinking nothing of it; I hadn’t read the series but I had seen it around and knew it was getting a lot of good reviews so I said what the heck.

Now, I’m not usually a giveaway entering person, I never win anything, and all it ever results in is my email getting spammed…even though they always say they WILL NOT email you (if you check/don’t check box, etc…).

Well, I’m sure you’ve already guessed what happened…A couple weeks later I received an email from SimonTEEN stating that I had won, I was so excited.  Of course me being me, I emailed back asking to see the address I entered, when it would arrive, etc…And just when I was beginning to lose faith that it would actually get to my house, before I left for college, it did!!!

So here they are:

Aren’t they precious & the ARC copy is actually the first paperback ARC I’ve received since starting this blog (I’ve received previous ones working as a library assistant).

My advice to you…enter them all.  Seriously, I’ve been entering every giveaway (well, at least the SimonTEEN ones), and I can’t wait to win more free stuff.  My review for each book will be up sometime in September/October.

What are you experiences with book giveaways or giveaways of any sort…tips you’d like to share?  Feel free to post in the comment section below :)

Whimsically Yours,
PnC

Interview with YA Author Lauryn April

Meet Lauryn April:

College student and Indie Writer

author of:

Into the Deep

I’m Lauryn, I’m 23. I’m studying psychology at UW Oshkosh, have 2 dogs, and love to write.  my debut novel “Into the Deep: explores the intricacies of the adolescent mind and what it means to feel alone… there’s also a snarky bad-boy, the paranormal element of mind reading, and explosions.

What is your favorite place to write?
Honestly, just in my living room. Usually I’ll turn off the TV, get comfy, and pull out my laptop.

What is the best piece of constructive criticism you ever received?
“You need an editor” After sending out my book to beta readers some of them had words of praise, but there was a lot of harsh criticism as well. It’s hard to catch your own mistakes, but you don’t really realize how many of them you make until someone else points them out.

How did you choose the title and the main character’s name?
“Into the Deep” was titled as so partly because of how my main character, Ivy, develops her powers (although originally she fell into the deep end of the pool so I suppose it made more sense then, but it fit the story better to have her fall and hit her head in the shallow so I changed it) It also is somewhat of a metaphor for Ivy developing her powers. The deep- the subconscious, Ivy discovers something that was deep and buried in herself.

As for Ivy’s name, I wanted to pick something that was short, two syllables, and Ivy is a symbol for friendship which is one of the themes of the book.

How do you overcome “writer’s block” ?
When I get stuck writing I take a break. Sometimes I’ll pick up a book and just read for a while, and sometimes I’ll start writing or taking notes for another book. (I started the sequel to “Into the Deep” before I even finished writing “Into the Deep”).

What was your writing & publishing process for Into the Deep like, from start to finish?
I talk about a lot of this on my blog as I wanted to document it as I went. First I finished the book. I spent a few months writing – the first draft. Then I re-read it a few times (each time thinking that it was “done”) So, then I found beta readers, some family, some friends, and a few strangers. It was after reading their feedback that I realized that I was far from “done”. I read through my book another dozen times, did more re-writes, added, deleted, then had a few more people read through it. After that I found an editor. When I got my book back from her I read it a few more times, then finally deemed it “done”. After that it was all about publishing. I already had accounts at Createspace and KDP, and I had drawn my cover months earlier. So, I just had to format (which took me days to get right) and then put it all together. All together it took about a year, but there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t do some work on it.

Why did you decide to become an Indie Writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but after doing some research I felt that the market is moving to a place where indie and self-published books are going to be the way of the future. I don’t think traditional publishing is ever going away, but I think self-publishing is here to stay and that it’s going to continue to change the way we read books. That’s why I chose to go indie.

What is the next book you want to write?
I have a sequel planned for “Into the Deep”, as well as a ghost story that involves lost love and bootlegged wine. I’m currently working on both of them now.

Thanks again.

Whimsically Yours,
PnC

Ira Glass on Storytelling (Part 4/4)

This is the fourth in a four-part video series by Ira Glass on Storytelling.  In it he refers mostly to radio storytelling however it can easily be applied to any kind.

“The more you are your own self the better off you are.” – Ira Glass

More to come :)

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Ira Glass on Storytelling (Part 3/4)

This is the third in a four-part video series by Ira Glass on Storytelling.  In it he refers mostly to radio storytelling however it can easily be applied to any kind.  It’s great to listen to especially if you’re hitting a low spot in your creativity or writing like I am now.

 

“Your taste is still killer…you can tell what you’re making is a disappointment to you...Everybody goes through that – Ira Glass

More to come :)

Whimsically Yours,

PnC