addicted to pinterest

This article could also be titled “How Pinterest Can Be Addictive”. After choosing models that I think are good visual representatives of my characters, I couldn’t let them go. No, I can’t use those people on my book cover, though I wish I could. But I don’t make enough money to pay any of those gorgeous people to grace my cover. So… this is where Pinterest comes in. I created a board of my cast, pinning up pics of models and actors and labeling them. It was really fun.

Now, ask me what I’ve written.

Uh… well, you see. What had happened was…

I’ve turned into a couch potato, lol. I know I need to write. I know I’m behind. I signed up to do a writing marathon with a group of writers I’ve never met before, out in Oakland. I really need to get back on the ball, and off Pinterest and Tumblr, and Twitter, and Goodreads, and whatever else I will find to distract me between the marathon and now. But honestly, I’m so excited about what’s going on with The Fourth Piece, I can’t concentrate very well on other things.

It’s like now I finally feel comfortable talking about the story. If you want to see a write-up for it, visit: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29058267-the-fourth-piece . That’s right. I have my own Goodreads Author page! I won’t have my own Amazon Author page until the book actually comes out. But, man, I feel legit. I’m doing things to self-promote, like starting an Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eardell/. If you guys click on some of these links, and feel so inclined to like me or follow me or rate me, I’ll give you gummy bears. Well, imaginary gummy bears. That way you can pretend they’re all cherry or whatever flavor you prefer. It’s the thought that counts, right? 😀

So, anyway, I wrote this post, because I wanted to share my Pinterest board for my characters with you all: https://www.pinterest.com/eboniardell/orders-last-play-characters/ . I’m such a nerd, I know. Don’t ask me what I’m watching on Amazon Video right now. You don’t want to know.

Yeah, okay, so I might be watching Ninja Turtles, the Nickelodeon version that turned incredibly dark in its last few seasons. (Hey, it’s funny and it’s got the spirit of the cheesy 80-90’s Turtles I grew up with.)

All right, so wish me luck on my writing marathon. I do still want to meet my goal of finishing the sequel to The Fourth Piece in my birthday month of April. Here’s a plus, I really like how the sequel’s going and maybe I’m afraid to write more because I think I’ll mess it up, lol. Silly, right? Eh, it happens.

Next time, I hope to be popping in to tell you about some sequel-writing progress and giving out further publication details. I can’t wait to be able to unleash a cover for people to see.

Take care!

 

 

my books

The third and final book in the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown came out today. The closest Barnes and Noble to me is 45 minutes away, but that didn’t stop me from hitting the road after work and driving out to get my book on its release date. There’s something special about getting a thing you’ve been waiting for right when it comes out. It’s the same as needing to see a movie on its opening night.

Yes, I’m one of the people who went to the midnight Harry Potter releases, in costume. Graduate robes look a lot like Hogwarts robes. I thought of myself as a role model to all the kiddies who saw me and said: “Great robe! Where did you get it?” Well, little one, if you get a master’s degree, you too can have a Hogwarts robe.

Yes, I completed my MFA in the same year Deathly Hallows came out. It was a milestone–and not just because of Harry Potter, lol. As always, these posts always have to come back to writing. Where am I right now in the publishing process? Languishing over creating just the right summary. Summaries are harder than writing the book, ugh! Also, I’m looking at cover models and their clothing and facial expressions, and objects to be used in the background art. (FUN!) I might have a book cover to preview soon. And, it’s time to make promotional materials. (YAY!)

I’m setting aside little chunks of change from my paycheck, so that I can help promote myself too. Last night, I went to an author networking dinner where we talked about marketing plans and social media. I got some great ideas and I’m ready explore and research them further.

When I was in grad school getting my degree, we had a panel of professors, all published authors, who were asked how hard it was to be a full-time writer and hold down a regular job. Most of them said the equivalent to: marry well, because if you really want to take this writing thing as far as it can go, it needs to be your only job.

Well, I know a lot of folks who still work and do fine, but I see why someone might want to say the heck with it, let me get on E-Harmony and find a rich hubby! It’s like having two jobs, and it hasn’t even gotten hard yet. But you know what, bring it on. I can take it.

Until next time, note that I’m going to start reading Morning Star tonight. I will resurface when I have finished and know Darrow’s fate. (…still grumbling about how stupid Darrow is… and Roque better live…and Cassius and Darrow better make up…)

Oh, let me just go read. Take care!

 

 

minions celebrate

I don’t want to jinx it because the ink hasn’t dried, but I just signed a publishing contract.What does that mean? It means my first book is being published! Published! I will see my pen-name on a book cover. I think I’ll scream or maybe even cry when I hold the actual book in my hands.

Non-writers don’t understand. They cheer and pat you on the back and then look at you strange when you keep dancing on. I’ve been doing the running man, the MC Hammer, the cabbage, the twerk, and a couple of other dances I made up for the past few days. This is a life goal. This calls for celebration.

And the book being published is a story near and dear to my heart. I’ve been working with these characters since the 6th grade, building them up and giving them story. The drafting process was not easy. There are so many different versions of this story on various disks and old computers. Heck, in old spiral notebooks, back when people used to hand-write things.This is the story that received no love what-so-ever when I work-shopped it in grad school. Give it up. Write something else. You’re not a good enough writer to write this story.

I shelved it for years after graduation and finally came back to it almost 2 years ago with a fresh new outlook and confidence in my writing that I had lost along the way. The publisher read the manuscript in a matter of days, gave me glowing feedback, and then made the offer. The contract came in a few days ago.

I did some research on what makes a good contract and what makes bad contracts and compared the articles and examples to mine. It looks great, but one of my co-workers has a fiance who knows legal people so he offered to read the contract over for me. He also offered to call in a second opinion from others who work in the creative property side of law.

Everything checked out… and so I signed! Whoooooo!!!! “Do the Humpty-hump. Do the Humpty-hump!”– Yeah I just dated myself, but whoooooooo!!!

So here is something else that’s amazing: one of my co-workers is also a writer, a fabulous poet, who is getting his book published as well. He was the one who pushed me to start seriously submitting my book and gave me a deadline. He said: You must have  published book in hand by December of 2017 when I retire. I said: You’re on.

So, we’ve been dancing together. Now, I wasn’t going to make the announcement to my other co-workers or anyone outside of my inner circle until the ink dried… but my poet co-worker went to the boss and excitedly told her: Eboni has big news, big, big, news, but she can’t tell you yet.

Well, at work we’re experiencing a staff shortage. People are getting married, having babies, and moving away. My boss kind of got a little freaked out, because she was afraid I was going to say I was getting married or pregnant. She approached me when I returned to work (after an awesome Halloween week with my sister), wanting to know my news right then, and I had to tell her. Not to worry, boss, I’m not popping out any little people and I’m not wearing a ring. I’m just getting published. 🙂

Published!

So, the contract is in, and now I’m making the suggested revisions with a deadline of November 18th. I can’t wait for the next part in the process.

Until next time!

Cat_Dog_01There is nothing like struggling for weeks to write one stupid chapter. You start worrying. What’s wrong? All the other chapters came out so fast. Am I running into that dreaded disease called Writer’s Block? Am I losing interest in the story–because, let me tell you, after a few weeks, you sure are bored with that chapter and you really are becoming disgusted with the whole project.

Then, it suddenly dawns on you. Maybe you’ve picked the wrong character to tell the chapter through. Huh. You start thinking it through, and then realize what you must do. You must scrap all 10-20, sometimes even 30 pages of crap you’ve been hammering out for weeks and start fresh in that new voice. You hate throwing stuff out (and I really don’t. I have a massive file for all my stories called: Cut Scenes), but once you do and start fresh, suddenly, you’re writing. Your chapter’s through in a matter of days and you’re happy and mad at the same time. Happy, because YAY you’ve got a new chapter that you like. Mad, because you wasted 3 weeks working on something that was never going to work.

This has been the case for me for the past month on not one but two stories. Because yes, I’m one of those people who writes real novels and fan fiction at the same time. So both of my stories were at a standstill, but hey, now they’re not. I’m glad to be moving forward, finally!

Why am I blogging right now? Because I’m actually writing right now and so amazed (and mad) at my discovery that I had to share it. I also have to share that I now have 40 plus pages of cut scenes this month.

On the publishing front–I’m still playing the waiting game. (Worst… game… EVER). But, hopefully, I’ll start hearing more from people soon. Most of the agents and publishers have a 6-8 window, and I’m approaching 6 weeks for some. We’ll see what happens.

Until next time!

procrastination

 

…a procrastinator.  You know what, never mind. I’m not even just a procrastinator. Maybe I’m just chicken. So, I’ve got two manuscripts that I could be submitting. I get all excited and maybe submit once or twice, never hear back from an agent, and then start editing again. At some point you just have to stop and say: I’m done. I’ve said “I’m done” so many times, but this time I really mean it. I’m done.

I have set a goal for myself. I’m going to submit my manuscript 3 times a week, 2 agents, 1 publisher. I’ve been doing my research, I’ve been formatting manuscripts and query letters and synopses to fit what each place wants. And most importantly, I’ve been hitting: send. We’ll see what happens. I’m excited, but not disillusioned. I’m not expecting to get wild and crazy acceptances from everyone I send to. I’m not expecting to hear from them all and get detailed feedback. Hell, I’m just happy to be able to put entries in my Submission Log, lol.

Okay, so on from that, let’s talk about what I’ve been up to: throwing parties… left and right. Baby showers, bachelorette parties and going to see The Lion King the stage play. Let me tell you that play is amazing: the costumes, the dancing, the music, the story. It was like watching the movie in the theater back in ’93 when I was a kid. It was nostalgic but at the same time, it added new elements to the story. Characters and relationships were deepened, I was in love… and then “Be Prepared” came on. Scar started singing and the hyenas came out…

So, I think they told every male dancer who auditioned for that play, “If you do not have an 8 pack and do not glisten when we rub on oil on your chest, you need not apply.” The hyena troop stomped out on that stage… and yes, they had amazing technique, but the rippling muscles distracted me from that just a bit. Adult Simba was no slouch himself–lucky Nala! I wanted to leap into Simba’s arms too.

Needless to say, it was such a great time I went to see it twice, and they did not disappoint.

So… when my writing buddies ask me what I’ve written this month, I say: Um… It’s all Simba’s fault for being so fine–I mean–talented! But I am getting back on track. I’m going to do something I did a while back and create a writing schedule for myself. I need designated times for editing, writing new original material, and writing other things (fan fiction, my guilty pleasure). Last month, I’d taken to kidnapping myself after work and going to a coffee house with my laptop to write. I ended up getting a lot of new material that way. The only problem with that method is that I ended up at coffee houses filled with cakes and cookies and pies every other day. My willpower is only so strong. (Sigh) So, new pages and tighter pants.

New revelation: Writing is fattening, lol.

Okay, so today is October 4, 2015. Mark this date, because it’ll be another year before I blog again. No, I’m going to blog again this month. In my designated writing time schedule, I am going to plug in a time for blogging too. So, here’s the challenge:Blog more than once a month. We’ll see what happens, lol!

Until then!

 

2014-09-07 18.37.44

Hahaha! Okay, yes, I am not dead. Just incredibly, incredibly lazy! But oh-so-much has happened in my life as well. So, I’m no longer in Florida. After a year and a half, I accepted a new position in California. I always told myself I was going to be a California girl, and now it’s happened. It’s hard to believe sometimes, but hey, I’m here and I love it.

I love my new job, I love my new place, my car loves driving through the hills and mountain routes. I’m still trying to make myself a niche here. Finding writing groups nearby is a little difficult, and the things I like to do with groups I’d love to join are often far away. But hey, I try. It’s not exactly torture making a two hour drive to do something fun when your end destination is San Francisco ;). Beautiful city.

So, here’s the story for last weekend. So, I joined a Harry Potter community that had a Start-of-the-Year Feast in Golden Gate Park on Sunday. Members were encouraged to dress up and bring a potluck dish in the tradition of Harry Potter. (I brought healthy cucumber sandwiches because it looked like everyone else was bringing sweets–which were delish btw!) So anyway, I did some impromptu karaoke, wandered some nature trails, saw some sights, met some new people… and got my car locked underground in a parking garage.

Yeah, you read that right. I parked my car in a garage that said it closed at 7:00 pm. No problem, the picnic would be over by six. So, anyway, picnic ends early, My friend and I, plus a new guy we met at the picnic, goof off in the park for a while. Then my friend and I make our way back to the parking garage only discover villainy. The entrance to the parking garage must have closed behind us, because… WHERE IS IT? We wander around, retracing our steps for almost 30 minutes. By the time we figure out how to get back into the garage, the doors are locked and the gate is barred. We sit outside the gate, staring at my beautiful red car through the metal rungs. What to do? There are no phone numbers to call. My genius friend Googled (gotta love Google) the parking garage and we get the number for management. A guy with a thick accent who sounds like he’s singing Italian opera while he talks answers and says he’ll be there to let us in, in a minute.

The man pulls up in a sedan, lets us in, we jump in the car and follow him out to pay the garage toll and head home. As we pay, he then tells us: “Good thing you called when you did! We charge people 450 dollars to park here after seven. Hahahahaha!”

“Hahahaha” my foot, but I kinda think he was making that up :D.

So anyways, that’s what’s been going on life-wise. Writing-wise, hey. I finished yet another novel draft and am making good headway on a sequel to that novel. In a month or so, I’m going to go back and do a full body edit to the draft and have a group proofread it.  Then, it’s back to querying. I would love to attend another writers conference and personally meet with some more agents. So, I’m always on the lookout for conventions in the Bay Area. (Hah, I’m Bay Area now :D.)

So, yeah, I’m back, better than ever… and hopefully, it won’t take another almost two years for me to blog again!  Take care!

impossible

I’m back and ready for a challenge.

I never was good at keeping diaries or journals.  I wondered how long I would be faithful to doing a blog entry at last once or twice a week.  Answer: About 6 months, lol.  Well, now I vow to do better.  I am challenging myself in two ways.  Way 1: I will blog at least once a week.  Way 2:  Well this one’s the big challenge.

I know a lot of people know about NaNoWriMo where you pledge yourself to write 50,000 words in a month.  Well, a great writer by the name of Stephen King wrote one of my favorite writers craft books.  I don’t really read those things anymore, as I had a writing teacher once say something wonderful: The best way to learn to write in your genre is to READ in your genre, and read a lot.  Many rules and grammar lessons and such just don’t apply, especially as current trends in your genre are constantly evolving.  And, sometimes writers craft books are boring.  If you feel like you’re doing homwork, suddenly writing is not fun.  I ran into that rut for a while.  Writing became work and no play.

But anyways, I digress, Stephen King says writers should get all of their first drafts out in a month or you lose focus and intensity on what you’re writing.  I find the longer it takes me to get a work out the more spread out my ideas become and I have to do a lot of “tightening” up editing.  I’ll use my fan fiction as an example because I have finished fan fiction stories. ;). I find that the fan fics I finish in 4-6 weeks are tighter with better structure and more consistency than the ones I take a year to finish.  Mostly because my writing style is always growing, so you can tell what I wrote in January from what I wrote in May, and mainly because my interest in the project wans over time.  By the end of the year, I’m thinking about and working on different projects, so my focus is split.

So, I challenge myself.  I have gone back to a project I shelved for a very long time (7 years).  It is a novel that I’ve wanted to write since I was a kid, but I put it away because I let a lot of people tell me it was implausible and no good.  I’ve reworked the concepts and characters and I wanna try it again.  I’m very excited, but I also don’t want this to become another 6 year project.  (My last book took that long and now the edits are taking forever because… well, the writing differs in places and it’s too spread out due to me writing parts of it over the course of years).

So, here’s the bet: I bet that my novel, The Fourth Piece, will have a complete first draft by my birthday on April 10th.  I have given myself 4 weeks (1 month) to deliver.  If I loose, well, you guys can throw net bananas at me.  I will blog at least once a week to report my status.

Whoo, four weeks.  I can do it, I can do it.  When I’m not distracted, I’m a fast writer, and I have a bit of an outline to go off of.  Well, wish me luck and ice cream for banana splits.

You guys take care!

challenge sign

Haha, so I got my first rejection e-mail.  Wow, you know a few years ago I think I might have been choked up about it.  My baby was rejected, and with a form letter no less, but hey, the form letter had my name on it!  And they were so quick about it, too.  I sent it off yesterday, no joke, and got the reply today.  I was expecting to wait weeks for that first “No.”  Either the lady really hated it, or I did a major formatting “no-no.” 

Haha, anyway I think that was less nerve wracking than waiting for someone to call you back after a job interview.  Those guys can take forever to tell you “No way!”  This lady took 24 hours… that is, if she even read it.  I kinda think she didn’t because it just came back too fast.

So, now I feel accomplished.  I actually submitted my work to a complete stranger for scrutiny and I’m ready for more.  To rejection, I say: NEXT! 

 

There is so much to do!  I’m reading this big, thick book known as The Writers Market that lets me know that finishing a book hasn’t even gotten me over the first hurdle.  I’ve got the blog, now I need the book trailer, the readings, the PR, and… finally… the agent.  After the agent, the game begins.

I’m loading up on carbs and watching my butt grow as I try to figure out how to do all this stuff.  Fun stuff, fun stuff, but hey I love it.  Now I know why some of my writing teachers say being a serious writer is a full time job.  Marry someone to take care of you so you won’t starve trying to follow your dream.

So, hey, I like long walks on the beach (not really), I like to cook and clean (HAHAHAHA, if you believe that go away now), and I’ll work out so my butt won’t be so big after I finish eating up all these carbs!  Marry me someone!

Anyways, book trailer up soon!