Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG and Your Writerly You

My blogger life has taken quite the hit during the last several months, but being a part of the monthly IWSG post has been a must. So here we are, first Wednesday of the month: sharing, congratulating consoling, considering what to do. Please stop by other posts and spread the love. Click here for links to other awesomeness.

Each month, you can write about whatever your writerly heart desires.
Or...
You can respond to the question of the month.

I'm going with the latter. So here goes:
Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in??

Actually, I did surprise myself. As most of you know, I write erotica. For those who don't know, just know that I write my grown and sexy mature works under a pen name.

However, I was not and still am not a Fifty Shades gal. I haven't watched the movies or read the books. But the subject matter entwined in the romance story was intriguing.

BDSM

What is it really and is it as Hollywood portray's it? So I researched. I spoke with people who lived the lifestyle. I learned to look beyond the media portrayal and look at the people. And I wrote. It was an interesting experience. I enjoyed having Degrees of Being Boss available. Maybe one day soon, I can republish it.

So what about you? Have you ever surprised your self with your writing?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG and A Lesson Learned

First Wednesday of the month brings your chance to share good news, spit fire on an issue, or commiserate with other writers who can understand your pain, genuinely congratulate you on your good thing, and be a support system that is rare to find.
First Wednesday of the month is...
IWSG

Each month, there is a question you can answer. To check out what others are sharing, click here and hop along to other blogs.
So, about that question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

There are so many lessons to learn on this journey called #writinglife. But one lesson that took some time, pain, emotional discomfort, and disappointment to learn is that comparisons can be the death of your writing career, if you let them.

We've all done this comparison thing a time or two...or twenty.
Comparing our books to other books of similarity.
Comparing our sales to other authors.
Comparing our writing style to other authors.
Comparing our writing journey to other authors.

It isn't that comparisons are bad. It's actually quite nice to compare and find similar characteristics in your own book that can be found in commercially successful novels. Being told that your writing style is enjoyable and that you capture the voice of the main character like such-an-such successful author is flattering. It can be helpful to see where you stand in order to set attainable goals.

But when you get wrapped up and tangled up in the comparisons, it's easy to lose focus, to lose your way because you're so lost in comparing your everything to all else occupying the world. Writing loses its fanatical hold on you. Perfection is an impossible finish line you struggle to reach. Your writing journey is no longer yours since you've given it over to the obsession of comparisons.

So what do you do?

Well, what I've done is take a step back when I realize that I'm caught in comparing my work or my journey to others instead of letting my characters speak through me. I give myself permission to know it's okay for me to be me. I'm not meant to be the next J.K. Rowling. I'm not meant to be the next anybody else.

I am meant to be my best ME.

How do you deal with comparisons of your writing, sales, and your journey to others?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IWSG and the Writing Voodoo

First Wednesday of the month means it's time to post for IWSG. We can share in some good news, support each other in the less than happy news, and just be there for each other. Click here to visit other blogs.

If I don't post at any other time in the month, I post on this day. It's like even while life is crazy demanding, I'm drawn to my blog by a need to be a part of this - this something greater than me. In a way, that's part of my answer to this month's question:

Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I said "I quit" twice.

The first time was after I'd written my first novel length story. It wasn't until after I finished the story that I noticed a lightness to my bearing. So many of the negative emotions I'd held onto behind breaking up with my fiance, losing my mother, and making a series of stupid decisions had drifted away during the writing process. It had been my own therapy. I thought the story was the best next thing since sliced bread until I submitted it to a contest (no revisions, no beta readers, no nothing lol!!) and had that bad boy red-lined so horribly that ink dripped from the paper. I was in my early twenties then and turned my focus back to what I thought real people had to do to make a living...and got a job.

The second time was after I self-published my first story under my pen name. This time, I'd gone through the process of doing revisions and had a second set of eyes on it, but this was before I'd learned about the ebook hitting the scene and around the same time of my divorce. I was focused on just trying to make it as a newly single parent.

I can't help wondering if this writing thing has cast some kind of voodoo over me, because in 2012 I self-published again and went on a rampant streak publishing other titles under my name and my pen name for a little while. Seems like a Ground Hog's Day version of me being a moth, writing the flame, and I'm lured to its fire on repeat. Even now, while I'm dealing with some things and only writing sporadically, my stories hover in my mind, waiting patiently for me. And this time, I have no desire or intentions of quitting.

So what about you? What's your answer to today's IWSG question?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


MARKED BEAUTY by S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.

Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.

As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.




About the Author
S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.
Connect with her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads

Giveaway
This is a #hashtag giveaway, where two lucky winners will receive a FREE eBook of Marked Beauty upon its release.
To participate:
  • Share one of the premade images via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or write up a blog post using one of the images.
  • Include #MarkedBeauty in your description.
  • Optional for extra entry: include Add to Goodreads (with link) in your description.
***Posts MUST contain the hashtag #MarkedBeauty for entry into the giveaway or we won’t be able to find you.


Pre-made tweets
"A lust 4 life energy. An ancient curse. One soul's journey thru death 2 find the cure." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0

"Uncovering some secrets can kill you, or worse ... steal your soul." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

An ancient race. A timid girl. And a journey to the in-between. #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

The giveaway begins May 17th and will be open until May 23rd. Winners will be announced May 24th via social media.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG and NOT Feeling Like an Author

I missed IWSG last month so I buckled down and got this post done because I did NOT want to miss another month. IWSG has been a source of maintaining sanity, being able to share on my blog and visit others each month. Click here so that you can hop along to other IWSG participants.

There is a question this month and it's mentioned at the site when you go there, but I wanted to share something a little personal.

I haven't tweeted in many weeks.

I haven't posted on Facebook about any of my books in what seems like months.

Um, and royalty checks? I did a rather piss-poor job when I was marketing because sales were always rather low then and are non-existent now (no exaggeration).

Actually, I got off of Facebook for Lent but cut it short to support The Un-Included Club's bid for the Seeds of Change grant in hopes they could make the first cut.

I haven't blogged as often as I used to.

There was a time where my daily schedule was one long day of ridiculousness from morning until midnight:

  • working a full time job
  • at home helping my daughter with homework
  • tweeting throughout the day even with some tweets pre-scheduled using Hootsuite
  • posting on Facebook about life and being positive and the availability of my books for young adults and the grown and sexy
  • researching marketing ideas and how I wished I could afford most of them but couldn't
  • jotting notes about new stories
  • working on the ones I needed to finish
  • blogging, reading blogs, and leaving comments
  • critiquing several writers works


Most days now I...

  • steal as much sleep in the morning as possible
  • work a very busy and exhausting full time job (had a different less active one a couple of years ago)
  • spend time with my daughter watching TV and reading
  • enjoy some Netflix and cuddles with my furbaby, Molly
  • every now and then get in some writing time.
  • go to sleep


You see what's missing in that new line-up? No marketing. None. It seems that from 2012 through 2015 when I was doing various things to market my books, all I managed to do was take time away from my daughter. Odd, since I got into this writing thing because I wanted to show her the importance of going for her dreams. Perhaps it is because she's becoming a teen and has grown so much I am fearful of missing anything at all.

So yeah, the writing hasn't stopped but I'm not feeling like an author. Actually, what would you say it means to be an author?

Please share your thoughts in the comments and let's have some chocolate while I deal with this and work my way back to my author-state-of-mind.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG and Perfection

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Click HERE to get to the link where you are able to visit various other blogs.

And...to Perfection.
Growing up as the younger sister to the popular neighborhood jock and older nerdy sister to the cute and adorable mellow-and-chilled chick, I added the unnecessary burden of pursuing perfection. Not in everything I did, but when it came to school, I had to have perfect grades, high standardized test scores, and excellence. This wasn't anything my mom asked of me. Truthfully, she only ever wanted me to be happy and would talk with me to keep me sane in those moments when I didn't quite outshine others intellectually.

Over the years, I've learned to curb this pursuit of perfection with a pursuit of happiness, which is one of the reasons I love to write. But perfection is a beast with deep and tangling tentacles, difficult to uproot, and I find myself struggling with my first drafts because of it. 

What about you? How do you deal with writing your first drafts? Do you go through painstaking edits as you write or do you chug the whole thing out then go back to clean things up through revisions?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

First IWSG of 2017

It's the first Wednesday of January, which means it's IWSG posting and sharing time. It's also the first IWSG of 2017. To get all the details and for the list of other blogs to visit and comment, click here.

With 2016 gone and 2017 here, reflecting on the past is on my brain. My thoughts have taken me back many years to a night when I was a 19 year old college student. That evening was ripe, I was stoked to dress for dancing and visit a couple of clubs with friends.

But such was not meant to be.

That night brought the beginning of a pain that, unfortunately, doesn't show signs of ever leaving, rather ebbing and flowing with my emotions. It could be described with all manner of words, but not exactly captured, no matter the wordsmith phrasing. And it was a screeching hard stop to my life as I knew it.

Since that night, I've learned to start life over. I've had to do it a few times, such as when my marriage fairy tale crash landed in reality and I became a divorced, single mom.

Seems there is a need to begin again, only this time, regarding my writing.

I'm a little scared.

Actually...

A lot scared.

It would be so easy to let go of this writing thing, to enjoy having published myself and being published by a few small publishers...

To just -

STOP.

But the ideas won't stop coming. The characters won't stop speaking. And, well, I love this. Even though I suck at marketing and selling books, I'm a story teller. So here I go, beginning again.

If your writing world is doing great, I pray 2017 continues to bring you good things and prosperity.

If you're anything like me and your writing world more closely resembles a beautiful catastrophe, know you are not alone. I recommend seeing the movie Sing. Seriously. It's a cartoon movie but believe me when I say it has a heart-touching message, quite a few, actually.

I've got a lot of work ahead of me for 2017, but what about you? What are your hopes for 2017? Are you struggling with something? Feel free to use the comments section to vent a little. We all need to get things off of our chests sometimes.