My Favorite Thing I’ve Written #MFRWAuthor

Happy Friday and Welcome to my first post in the 52 Week Challenge! This week’s topic asks what is my favorite thing I’ve written… and why?

This is a tough one for me and looking back, it’s almost impossible to pick one story over the other because when it comes down to it, the short answer to this question is that the story I am writing *right now* is my favorite.

And no, I don’t mean that my current WIP is the best. Actually, I mean that when I sit down and throw myself into a new project, that project is all-consuming and I consider it the best and most exciting thing I’ve ever written. That enthusiasm is what keeps me writing even when the newfound love sours and the current project loses its luster.

Just like in a relationship, sometimes you have to keep looking for ways to recreate the magic. Doting on stories past won’t do it. I think if I spent too much time telling myself a story I’d already finished was my favorite then I might not be as motivated to keep going on the new one.

But of course, I do have stories that carry a special place in my heart. The Between World is the first book I published and I’ll never forget the feeling of holding the paperback in my hands and knowing it was my own creation. Priceless! Even though it isn’t the best thing I’ve written, it was my first and so it will always share space on the “favorites” list.

Then there is the short story I wrote for a competition in 2016 called Port of Entry. Not only did that story surprise me as I wrote it but it surprised me again when it was chosen out of many to propel me into the second round of the competition. I needed that boost of confidence.

And of course, there is the story I have attempted to write on and off for about twenty years. It’s taken various shapes and forms but because I’ve never been truly satisfied with the effort, it still only lives in my imagination. One of these days it will find its way out into the world, I’m sure of it. When that happens, who knows, it may be my favorite!

Or perhaps my favorite will be one I’ve not even conceived yet. I’m hoping I have many years of writing left ahead of me and I’m excited about all the possibilities I can explore with each new project I delve into.

So for the time being, I shall return to my current favorite project – the work-in-progress going on at the keyboard right now as we speak about a girl destined to save the world from an alien invasion. Stay tuned. 😉

Want to learn what other authors are saying about their favorites? Check out the MFRW 52 Challenge Blog for the linky list of participating authors.

Six Sentence Sunday – Between World Revisited

Oh, Six Sentence Sunday, we meet again. How I’ve missed you so.

Don’t know the rules to play our little game? Click HERE and prepare to be dazzled. There are many brilliant authors waiting for you to sample their six.

As for mine? Oh, it’s a tough one. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like anything I’ve written. I realize that sounds a tad depressing but it’s kind of a good thing. When I look back and re-read, I come across a million things I’d like to change. I’m seeing mistakes that I’ve made that I’m itching to fix. Perhaps what I’m trying to tell myself is that it’s time to sit down and do a little rewriting? Make those stories shiny and new?

Perhaps.

Let’s begin with The Between World, shall we? It is my first (and at this point only) self-published novel and is essentially the story of a woman lost in life who suffers a terrible car accident, which for all intents and purposes, should have killed her. Her handsome rescuer, it turns out, is not from this world and for reasons, which even I can’t explain as the author, she gets all needy and clingy from the start. Whew! High maintenance this one. Not only, Yalen, will you have to save her boring life as saleswoman but then she’s going to refuse to hit the road when she’s well enough to do so. (ha!) How is that for gratitude when you’ve just broken the rules of your world to save this crazy girl in the first place?

Yalen needs to forcibly send her back to the earthly world where her injuries force her to move back home with her dad and face the small town that she tried to leave behind. She also must confront former best friend / love interest Neil that Dad makes it clear that he still desperately wants her to hook up with. Good grief, Dad, worry about your own life, would ya? Nina doesn’t remember Yalen but she knows there was someone… she’s left with strange longings she can’t quite explain. Settling for a mere mortal just isn’t good enough anymore. And geez Louise, Neil is engaged anyway.

Yalen ruffles the feathers of his superiors and because he works for a sadistic bunch, they send him back to earth to seek and destroy. Now he’s forced to kill the crazy woman that he wasted all that time saving. How is that for a thankless job? Nina senses something the moment he sets foot in the bookstore where she works. She wants him bad because he makes her tingly but she’s also terrified of him. I guess rightly so since he’s planning to kill her and all. All in a day’s work. Just in case Yalen decides to chicken out, Charlie is keeping a watchful eye. We’ll find out later that Charlie was in on the whole conspiracy.

And just in case you didn’t guess it, Yalen does indeed have second thoughts when he sees this hot chick. He’s falling in love with her. Gosh darn it, leave it to love to get in the way of killing a girl and moving on with life, right? Good thing Yalen also catches a whiff of the conspiracy going on here so he’ll at least dig a little deeper before following through on orders anyway. He lures Nina into the woods and then tells her that her mother didn’t actually commit suicide. Now, I don’t know about you but if I had to move forward after my mother’s suicide when I was only 17, I might not appreciate some stranger showing up at my door years later to tell me that it was all a joke and I might not to be feeling so romantic when the psycho tries to kiss me out here in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me?

I guess I shouldn’t give away the whole story. After all, now that you’re enticed into reading it (?), you’re going to want to find out for yourself how this crazy mess resolves itself. Trust me, it gets weird. But there are good things as well and I hope that since I’ve distanced myself a bit that I can focus on pulling out the parts I like and creating a better story.

You with me?

Good… Now here are my six for the day. I’ve stolen these from the end of chapter two after the accident and after Yalen and Nina’s initial meeting. Happy Reading!
***

They were pictures, frozen in time of events either past or yet to come. Were they real or imagined? She continued to watch until it occurred to her the one thing that all of the images had in common: not one of them included her. The revelation left her feeling unsettled and she managed to turn her attention to a darkness that existed just beyond the slideshow. Her mind went quiet and she relaxed. Only Yalen’s face lingered in her memory.

Walking the Plank

Over the course of the week, I’ve inevitably hit a high and a low and gone back and forth a few times. The problem? The edits on my current work-in-progress are nearly complete and I’m faced with putting it in the hands of readers (or not) by blog posts, self-publishing, traditional publishing, or smoke signals. Which one will be most effective? Which path ultimately steers me in the right direction?

Not sure. That’s pretty much what it all boils down to. I’m so close to setting the story free that I’m getting cold feet on committing to any direction at all.

It’s been an entire year since I self-published The Between World and a lot has changed in my world since then. I didn’t have a plan when I finished that first book. I didn’t have a fancy smancy “platform”. I didn’t bother with blogs or meeting new friends on Twitter. I didn’t even have an official author page on Facebook. (I did have a book page though.) I really had no idea what I was getting myself into and I paid a price for it. I’ve been trying to work it out ever since and hopefully (fingers crossed), I’m in a better place than I was on the publication date of book #1. I still have so much to learn and so much to do … but maybe I’m starting to find my feet.

Ghosts Don’t Wear Silk Stockings is very different from The Between World. It’s quirky and (hopefully) fun. It deals with demons and ghosts but it doesn’t take the subject too seriously. I don’t wallow in spectulations of the after-life. Not that I really did that with The Between World either but still, Nina and Yalen were a different cup of tea with literally the entire universe hanging in the balance. If they didn’t work things out by ‘the end’ then the world could have ended as we knew it. Yalen and Nina rarely found themselves in a light-hearted situation.

Different is good and I’ve had a lot of fun writing something that I hope is suspenseful but still fun at the same time. I hope I’ve offered the reader a few good laugh-out-loud moments that will stick with him/her. But now I’m starting to worry too… what if I’ve tried too hard to make it fun and in the process just turned it into something silly? What if the readers just roll their eyes and put the book down to move on to something better? What if anyone that dares to read this story makes a mental note to never pick up another book I write thinking that I obviously must not take my craft seriously?

What if the men in white coats come knocking and lock me in the rubber room?

GASP! It’s a gamble. If I self-publish this thing, I’m putting myself out there on the pirate’s plank, blindfold and all, holding my breath, waiting, and just hoping. Do I sink or do I swim? When I put chapter one out there and had little response, I guess I hit the panic button even harder and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t take the risk that this would be the end as I know it.

I’ve strongly considered the possibility of submitted the story to a traditional publish and run the risk of it not seeing readers’ hands until a year from now or longer and that’s assuming I have any hope in the traditional realm at all. (I like to believe I do with a little effort.)

Problem is that I’ve gotten quite comfortable with the Indie publishing world and being that I like to control, it suits me. (I am an Aries, after all.) Someone has been kind enough to tell me that I don’t necessarily have to have it one way or the other. In this case, I could have my cake and eat it too. But really, what it boils down to is being afraid of the story hitting rock bottom and not being able to take it back and I’m going to have that fear no matter which path I walk.

So, bottom line? Ignore me. I’m moving full speed ahead as originally planned. Edits are going very well and with the husband out of town all week, I’ve had plenty of time to get ahead of the game. How the book will be received by the world, does it really matter? I am sharing a story that I love and I’m bound to find one or two who share my unusual sense of humor and that’s what makes the writing all worthwhile.

I’m back on track and ready to take the plunge…

Thanks for sailing the stormy seas with me. It’s a pleasure to have you on board. 🙂

Books, Books, Books

I hadn’t planned on doing a Saturday blog post but under the circumstances, I think it is warranted. Author Christina McKnight has been gracious enough to feature my book on her blog, especially in light of my free promotion running this weekend.Thank you, Christina!

I highly recommend that you check out her blog HERE (it’s pretty nifty) and if you like books of the paranormal variety then make sure you follow. Her book titled “Only in Her Dreams” is scheduled for release this December.

And… if for some reason this is the first you’re hearing of my weekend promotion, check out The Between World on Amazon. You can download it free for a limited time.

Happy Weekend! Join me tomorrow for Six Sentence Sunday when I share another snippet from “Ghosts Don’t Wear Silk Stockings”.

Those Who Walk Unseen

Here is another one originally posted by me on blogger waaayy back in January of this year. (Why does that feel like a lifetime ago?) I didn’t realize how much I like this post until I recently re-read it. Maybe it’s just that I like thinking about all those unanswered questions? Even though I wrote this post in January, I’m still working on that second novel. Gosh darn it, why is it taking so long? I should have that thing published and in your hands by now, surely! 😉

***

Last week I wrote an entry about life existing in other parts of the universe. This is an exciting possibility. But what if we didn’t even have to leave the planet in order to find other forms of life beyond those that we’re already so familiar with finding from day-to-day? What if gates to “other worlds” really existed right in our own backyard?

Science fiction likes this idea. “Portals” take characters from one world to the next in an instant. It’s a convenient way to get around the physical limitations of building a spacecraft that will enable us to travel the universe within the astronaut’s lifetime.

I’ve always had a fascination with the “unseen” and the possibilities that could exist. Have you ever seen a ghost? Some claim they have. Is it so improbable that the energy that makes up our existence could not echo even long after our earthly form has turned to dust? Do ghosts have the capability for rational thought and control over their own actions? Maybe. Maybe not. Why are some of us more sensitive to this energy than others? And anyway, what really happens when we die?

So let’s assume we don’t want to accept that ‘ghosts’ are some remnant of human life. What if, instead, we choose to believe that there is essentially a world of beings that can walk in our world unseen? Maybe they keep trying to contact us but for whatever reason, our minds are closed to their existence and we continue to look the other way?

Surely, there will be a few of us that come into contact with these beings even if later we question our sanity. Maybe some of us believe that our lives were touched by the intervention of a guardian angel that watches over us? I like to think that we are all interconnected in ways that we can’t begin to understand and there is a lot to our world that remains unseen. The rest of you probably just think I’m a little loony. That’s okay, too.

However, if you’ve read my book, you already know this is a premise that I love to explore. Yalen comes from a world that exists in tangent with our own but that we aren’t the least bit aware of … except for those rare exceptions. I had a lot of fun thinking about new possibilities for guardian angels. My next book will have some fun with demons.

What do you think about the concept of life existing unseen amongst our own?