Tag Archives: writing

Getting ready for a new year…

2015

I have to say that New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays if not my favorite. I love the idea of looking back to see what I’ve accomplished only to make goals for this year to be more successful. With that in mind, I’d like to spend this blog post just talking over some of the crazy hair-brained things I plan to do this year with my time, resources and talents.

Goals are a roadmap to moving toward where I want to be and who I want to become as I go through life. I love goals!

Writing Goals:

This one is a steep climb for me, but I’m excited about it. I plan to write 10-16 books just depending on my ability to make time to sit down and create. I am going to be writing YA, MG and NA this year, so it should be a good variety. I’ll be working with BookTrope on most of the series/novels, but there are a few that might go through my self-publishing platform simply because of how fast I can move verses how fast they can move.

Blogging Goals:

I plan on writing on my blog 2-3 times a week mostly with updates, random writings and great books I’ve read or will be reading! I’ve opened a new blog for my pseudo name Kate Thomas, but I think I’ll mostly use that to talk about my New Adult Paranormal series, contest and book involvement. I am opening two other blogs today for the new year. One will be about a journey I’ve been needing to take, but have been doing it all wrong – weight loss. It’s called, “The hardest journey I’ve taken.

I’m starting Optifast with my doctor on Monday (MY BIRTHDAY) and hope to take off about 50lbs this year. I’ll be blogging about that for my own record and to encourage others who are taking my same journey. Lastly, I’m a Christian first and foremost and need to start using some of my writing talent to give honor to God, so I’ll be writing a “Thirsty Thursday Devo” and other random encouragements to build up my faith and hopefully yours. That blog is called, “Acknowledging Glory.”

Entrepreneurial Goals:

I’ve always been type A and the type of person that looks for opportunity everywhere. That being said, Jacob and I are going to work hard on creating a few side businesses this year. The ultimate goal? Him and I working from home together – There is no one I love spending my day more with than my husband. He is the better half of me and is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given. So… I created an LLC this last year because I’m a CPA by trade, so I’ll be picking up a few small business clients that need bookkeeping/financial advise. I already have a subcontract to do taxes for the upcoming tax season.

I’ll be writing my novels of course and then I’m working on kicking off “Good Tales Book Tours,” a virtual book tour company simply because there are 2-3 in the market to compete with. Seems like there is room for one more. Logo is almost done for this, domaign is purchased and a web-designer will start putting together a custom site on Feb 1st.

This company will be a partnership with Jacob and should open around March/April 2015. Jacob and I are working hard to convert the garage to an office/wood shop. He’s crazy talented with woodwork and metals, so we’re creating a store on Etsy early this spring as well. We’re going with a partnership structure on this one too. So loads of business-type boring stuff to do, but we’re on our way. I drew the logo for our etsy business this morning! 🙂

Personal Goals:

This year I’m going to focus on my faith, my finances and my health. I plan on spending 30 minutes a day with my concentration focused on the things of God, so whether that is prayer, a bible study or my Bible, something that centers me and gives me focus.

Jacob and I are going on a pretty tight budget for this new year in hopes of getting ahead a little and paying off some debt to help us to move toward our goal of self-employment sooner rather than later. A cash budget seems to be the only way to go because that debit card or credit card is just TOO easy to use.

My health is going to be about two things: losing weight for good and running. Jacob and I are going to start training to run a 5k and then hopefully by October we’ll be up for the 10 for Texas. We’ll see! 🙂

“The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” Melody Beattie

I couldn’t agree more. I plan to write the next chapter in my life story this year by setting goals and being uber focused on my goals. My end result? Success – Freedom – Peace.

Are you setting goals and if so, what words does reaching those goals bring to mind?

Happy New Year’s! It’s going to be our best  year yet!!

L.

Advertisements

Why I Love Being Indie!

I think from a young age I’ve always been independent, always looking for a way to forge a new path and climb a steep hill and do it mainly on my own. So joining onto the Indiebooksbeseen and the Indie movement is something that was bound to happen.

A little bit of history…

I wrote my first YA supernatural novel in the spring of 2010, having read a zillion books through my younger life and realizing that I truly understood the necessarily elements that belonged in a YA novel without going over the edge. I’m funny and a bit edgy myself, so I figured I could do this book thing. Can I just tell you that writing the 90,000 word / 500 page novel was the easy part.

After getting more people than necessary to edit the book I began to research the query/agent/publisher map. How was I going to get this great story in front of the right people and better yet, make the time to do all of these non-writing activities to get the book published? I’m sad to say that I spent three times the amount of energy and effort on trying to get the book noticed than I did creating it. Crazy!

The whole effort ended with a great story, 200 rejections, months and months of beating my head against the wall, tons of dollars to attend this event and use this template and yadda… yadda… Finally – I put the manuscript in a drawer and said to hell with it.

The rest of the story…

Four years later I was done being poked by a good writer friend of mine who’d fallen in LOVE with Soul Keeper back in 2010 and finally opened the drawer to dust it off. A few good writer friends of mine had gone “Indie”. I pushed back against them a little and asked 2 million questions as I wasn’t in the mood to spend money or emotional energy on a project that seemed to be going nowhere.

However, with loads of nudging and reassurance I decided I’d self-publish my books and if nothing else – they’d be loud and proud on my own shelf. So let me tell you why I love being Indie.

1. No one will ever love my book as much as me. It’s my creation and having the freedom to choose what it looks like and where the plot goes is all mine to decide. I don’t have someone standing over my shoulder making it “better” by their definition of “better.”

2. I can spend as little or as much time, energy and money as I want. Obviously the more I put into it, the more I’m going to get out of it, but that’s with anything in life. The cool part is that if I’m a good editor or if I can design my own cover, then those are costs to be saved and skills to be used.

3. I belong. In a world of independent authors I find myself fitting in just perfectly. We all work hard and dream big and the encouragement is beyond belief. I don’t have to write a certain genre or stick to a certain structure in the plot. I simply write, promote and support and honestly feel great about myself at the end of the day.

Being an Indie author, to me, doesn’t really have anything to do with being Independent though. It’s a statement that says I’m capable of making every step along this book writing/producing platform to take a dream from start to finish. The truth of what Indie authors are doing is showing the world that there still exists hope. Hope to dream big and work hard to make that dream a reality.

That’s why I love being Indie!

L.

Check out this link: https://clrozelle.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/10-things-that-suck-and-rock-about-being-an-indie-author-part-1/

Musical Muse Monday (Post!)

Edge of the World

Living a Life Worth it.

(Song: OneRepublic – Counting Stars)

I made it to the top of the mountain – the peak, and I closed my eyes, filling up my lungs with the clean fresh air. I had decisions to make and my heart palpated as I walked close to the edge of the cliff I’d just climbed.

I pulled off my shoes and socks, my shirt and shorts – wanting to feel the wind on my skin – I was alone – free to be me.

Lately I’d been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be.

I felt like a lion and a lamb, quiet and reserved, vicious and loud. I chuckled under my breath. He thought he’d broken me, that he’d won, but the irony was spent on him. He’d never know, and that was okay. Reserved victory is still victory.

The sharpness of the rocks beneath my feet should be painful, but I am numb to the demands of my flesh. My heart is soaring and breaking in conjunction. I make it to the edge of the cliff and turn ninety degrees, and I began to walk on the very edge of the mountain. Hope used to be my four letter word.

To my left is the grassy top of the formation, welcoming, warm, inviting – safe. To my right is the jagged cliff and it’s promise of sweet release. It’s whispers talk of carnal pleasures, explosive joy… danger. I shiver at the thought of falling into it’s delicious trap one minutes and laugh deep in my chest the next. I feel something so wrong doing the right thing. I could lie, but the truth was that everything that kills me makes me feel alive in that moment.

My right foot dips to skim the outside of the cliff, cutting my foot. The color infiltrating my senses. I stop and back up from the cliff, clinging to the only reality I know – the safe one.

But love and mystery and rebellion scream at me to come and not walk along the edge but to jump, jump into the unknown and take life for the ride it was intended to be. The two parts of my soul fight for dominion; safe or free? Which life will I chose?

I see his face, I hear his voice, I feel his touch. The warmth of his breath rushing to surround my nakedness and I release myself to him. He is what I know. He’s what’s safe. And then she awakens and I growl in my chest, waking up to the alarming reality of the situation. He wasn’t what he appeared to be – oh he was so good – almost good enough to forget his transgressions, but no… no, he’s not a risk worth taking.

But drowning in the dance floor, letting my soul dance to the music, sweating with a million others, finding a new lover, starting a movement, being a rebel and daring fate to press against me – those are risks worth taking. There will be hundreds of men in my life, but only one me, only one time to take this risk.

I smile, content and pull myself up, flinging my arms wide, loving the way I feel, the way I look… Beautiful and unashamed of who I’ve been and who I plan to be. I don’t walk, but run to the edge of life and I fling myself off the ledge and dive into a world of possibilities.

I will be the love of someone’s life. I will sing and dance and create with the light and dark passions in my heart. I will share my soul and my wealth with those that are in need and I will dance naked and unashamed in the rain as it washes me clean.

That’s a risk worth taking. To live a life unbound. To endlessly count the stars and never apologize for looking up.

That’s the choice I make – what about you?

L.

Picture from : beachy-head-chalk-cliff-in-southern-england-nicknamed-edge-of-the-world–18606

WIP: My next story – Vamps and Wolfs

Resounding

September 5, 1830
Greenwich, England
Council of Shadows

The sun had started to set behind the edge of the earth, the cool breeze of autumn throwing dandelion’s into the air as if decorating the moment perfectly for them. England had yet to see the true effects of winter, summer hanging on with consorted effort and pressing with sustained might to keep the air temperature most pleasant. That evening would began a three night council meeting where the shadow walkers would join together to discern issues common to them and try to work through various agreements and concordances with one another. It was assured to be filled with tension and bickering, but Seraphine had been in the center of the circle for a very long stay and cared not what was presented or in what manner, only that it was discussed and a decision was made.

Her mind was far from the cold circular room that the meeting would be in as everything was set perfectly and ready for nightfall to arrive. She stood in the shadows of a watch tower with the sun hidden behind her and the man she loved in her arms. It was forbidden and though she wished that she could find the strength to let him go, she could not and would rather give up her position and title than allow the council to step between the two of them. He smiled at her, the warmth of his welcome, the strength in his embrace could not leave her without returning the gesture. So many years she’d lived for vengeance and retribution and found love a weakness to exploit in others, but to never take it into her own bosom.

Things drastically changed more than a century ago when she was assigned to work along side the next Alpha male from the council to discern the propagation of the church and the success they’d held thus far in expansion. The task was most challenging and the two had to work closely together, their relationship at first quite hostile and unyielding. It wasn’t until she was in grave danger one night, surrounded by a large group of hunters that he risked himself to save her and through his bravery they both escaped. The resounding effects of his willingness to sacrifice himself took them to a place she never imagined and one that would have them tried my the council and killed. She looked into the warm chocolate colored gaze that continued to focus on nothing but her as her fingers ran along the soft skin on his shoulder, the muscles so beautiful and on display for her pleasure.

“What is it that takes you from me, Sera? You are not in this moment from me, my love.” He pulled her tighter, the nakedness of their bodies tugging at a hunger that lay in the core of her being. She let her eyes drift along his strong features, memorizing each one as if she could feel the plague of loss hanging tightly overhead.

“I am just concerned that we will not be able to keep confidences. Tonight the council will meet and after your coronation to Alpha you will hold the chair for your pack. To have us both holding a chair almost gives us a majority run of the group and I’d not want anyone to ever think that we worked together to gain some nefarious advantage. I live for my people and I die for them as well.” She bit at her lip, long chestnut hair danced around them as the wind chilled his skin and left her wanting to comfort him. Their afternoon of love making was never enough for her and she waited for these meetings to see him again. To meet up outside of England was too dangerous and so they lived lives that were split in two, both of them almost sick with not having the other by their side.

“No one will ever know, Sera. It is our secret to take to the grave. Come now… let us not waste our time worrying. Hush and let me enjoy you.” He smiled and she couldn’t help but smirk at him. His arms tightened and pulled her into a compressed embrace, a large hand sliding into her hair and beckoning her rest her had against his shoulder as he caressed her. She let all thought dissipate and closed her eyes, the smell of his skin divine and earthy, the strength of his body perfect and comforting. Her soft crimson lips brushed along his shoulder as he made a small sound of appreciation and the rest of the afternoon was lost to the desires one the other.

It wasn’t until later than evening that Seraphine discovered the small golden locket in the pocket of her black slacks, her fingers twirling around the cold metal for a moment before realizing that something was out of place. She pulled it up as she headed toward the council room, each species given a separate waiting room where they could meet and discuss their agenda items and strategize or vote for a common cause. She’d invited Walter, Petra and Lucius to join her. Petra would sit on the Winter Council as her second in command and after that each of them would take a turn. She wanted to see them in action before making a decision of that brevity because when she was done, they would take her place as head of the Vampiric Coven.

The light caught the locket as she moved, her long dark hair swaying behind her and no color to be found on her outside of her crimson lips and matching heels. Her silky black top wrapped tightly around her and she knew it was a bold move, but to tease her secret lover with her beauty would make the night go by so much faster. The small golden teardrop hung from a sort chain and inscribed on the back was “forever yours.” She slipped it on before moving into the cold confines of the Vampire Waiting Room, her eyes on the blood wine already prepared and her mind of a handsome wolf that had given her a reason to truly live again.

“Yes baby.. you are,” she whispered and growled softly.

Picture from http://www.anypics.ru/large/201211/37385.jpg

The need to succeed…

key-to-success2

I have always, for as long as I can remember, had this extreme need to succeed, this driving force that pushes me to exhaustion and races me to the next adventure or creation in hopes of finding it – success.

But what is success really? Don’t you think we all define it differently?

In my own mind I’m successful at being a good mom, a good wife, a good worship leader. I’m a great teacher and a strong leader in most areas of my life. I’m a successful CPA for a good sized oil and gas company and I’m a good writer.

As wonderful as those things are, it’s funny how quickly we get wrapped up in our current success. Do you really think anyone else in our lives really defines our success the way we do when we look in the mirror? I’d say I’m only as good as my last successful moment and yet you’d look at me and say I’m an overachiever and quite successful.

I realized today I was doing that again with my writing. How successful I am with it is determined by the number of people I reach and the number of books I sell, but in all reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

I am successful because I poured my heart out on paper and it ACTUALLY made sense. 🙂 Because I pushed to get the story in reader format and learned a million things along the way. Because my family all has a copy of the novel on their shelves and are proud of me for marking something off my bucket list. Because I love writing and effectively telling stories.

I don’t think wanting to be successful is a bad thing at all. I just think we have to be careful by whose terms we define that success, especially if they are our own and move us into a place of not acknowledging all that we’ve done thus far.

The need to succeed is alive and well and at times can leave us frantic. Perhaps in those moments its best to pause and reflect on all that we’ve done and how it’s made us who we are today. Then… tomorrow we jump back onto the race of life in hopes of grandeur. 🙂

L.

Picture: http://www.audreyreille.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/key-to-success2.jpg

The Key is Confidence or is it?

passion

How quick are you to react to someone that’s confident in whatever they’re selling? Is it confidence really or perhaps passion? Maybe its a mix of both?

There is something quite contagious about a confident passionate person, isn’t there? I run into very few people like this, but when I do, I find myself wanting to follow and spend a few minutes in the warm glow of whatever they have running through their veins.

I was thinking how depressing it is to only sell one or two of my books a day and then my AWESOME husband reminded me that I’m a successful CPA with several other businesses in the works. I didn’t write my book to sell it. This has nothing at all to do with money, but acceptance perhaps.I wrote them because I’m passionate to the point of vomiting color wherever I go. I needed an outlet – not your typical accountant to say the least.

I wrote it to release passion into a world that didn’t exist and create characters that I’d love to know and showcase as part of who I am in my heart. So if it wasn’t to sell, then it’s pretty cool that it has sold. I’m up to 80 copies or so from Amazon in the last two weeks and considering that all I wanted to do was write for me, that’s not too shabby.

So I’m confident that the next book will do better than this one, and the one after that even better. Why? Because I’m overtly passionate about my books to the point of talking to everyone about them. Are you passionate about what you’ve created? Do you want to desperately share it with someone?

Then do it – with confidence. Let that passion show and people will grab onto it and hover above it like a fire on a winter’s night. The world says, “no” and “go away” and “we’re not buying what you’re selling.”

Well you know what? The world is simply missing out. Share with confident passion and invite us in.

L.

**Picture from http://www.freespiritsunited.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/passion.jpg

Finished up, wrapped tightly and DONE!

There is something so right about typing that final word on a book you’ve been working on. You put in the last period and sit back in your chair, your head aching a little and your body worn out and yet… it’s exhilarating. Done!

Isn’t it so funny how quickly you start to edit in your mind, even though you’ve promised yourself that you’ll take a few days off from working on any part of this blasted project and just enjoy life. And yet… the voices start nagging at me to change this and adjust that and oh this must be cleaned up.

HUSH. Just slow your roll and let me enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something pretty awesome. (Yes, I am talking to myself. It’s cleansing for one’s mental health, or so I tell myself.)

I’m done. I’m finished. It’s wrapped up and ready for editing, but the creative process that requires all of my senses to truly hum is complete for this project.

Destroyed, Soul Keeper II is around 90K words and after 16 days, a respiratory infection, trip to Lubbock, 30 cups of cold coffee and 25,000 jumping jacks to wake up – it’s done.

I hope you’re pushing through to finish something on your goals list. We’re growing or dying, right?

Perseverance is my nemesis and yet when I embrace the sheer power of what she offers, there is nothing that I cannot do.

Push, shove, shuffle forward toward your goals today.

Finish it up, wrap it up and then… be DONE, for tomorrow, we start all over again. :–)

L.

Musical Muse Monday (Post!)

Say Something Post

Only She Remains

(Song: A Great Big World, Say Something)

I waited for him – but he didn’t show.

Late again. Another excuse. He’s so creative with them too and in my desire for love, I pretend to believe him.

As fall changed to winter and winter to spring and summer and fall again I began to die.

Is she pretty?

Does she make him laugh?

Is she passionate and full of life?

Does he feel like the him that left me years ago when he’s in her arms?

Questions eat at the recess of my heart.

Doubt about my worth spreading through my veins and I cannot fathom a world where he does not find me precious.

Where it is not my beauty and comfort that he seeks.

And yet, my universe is painted by those colors now. Once blue and green and red, now grey and brown and black.

I look up and stare into the eyes of a stunning woman. Her beauty the kind that makes you gasp because of its depth.

She is real and her eyes show compassion and intellect and fiery desire. She is breathtaking.

Her hair is light brown and soft. I want to reach out and touch it, but I’m afraid of her reaction, for she no longer knows me.

Her skin is tan and laugh lines barely peek around this edge of her full lips and orange colored eyes.

Maybe in another life we would’ve been friends. Maybe we already were.

I whisper to her, “Say something, I’m giving up on you.”

She shrugs and stares at me. I remind her that I would have followed her anywhere.

A tear drips down her face and her pink lips open as she takes a shaky breath.

My own heart shutters at the pain I feel radiating off of her. Tragedy lives in the walls of her chest and it’s palatable.

Her voice is soft, soothing, warm-yet cold….

“I hate you,” she whispers.

I feel a tear slip down my cheek. To be hated by this incredible being is heartbreaking. What could I have done?

“If you were better, stronger, sexier, smarter….” her voice cracks and she sobs.

I sob too, my heart breaking as my soul screams at her pain.

I want to be better.

I want to be worthy of her love, but she runs from me. She….. she’s leaving me too.

I cannot imagine a world without him and her.

Nothing would remain of me.

“I’m so sorry I can’t be more,” I whisper back and her eyes jump up to meet mine, hatred spewing from the warmth that is gone.

She laughs, but it’s a horrible sound. The vibrations reach out and bury its claws in my chest, retribution causing my blood to spill.

“Don’t be sorry. Just do us both a favor and die in front of my eyes. Give me a chance to become the monster he and you have made me to be.” She mocks me and I feel like shriving up and wasting into nothingness.

I never meant to hurt her. I love her more than he ever could. She is my everything and at one time we stood against the world together, never to fall, never to cause harm, but then he showed up and stole her heart from me and she changed in her love for him and I was lost for a time.

“He’s not worth it. Just come back to me. This isn’t your fault.” I try to reason with her. Surely she understands that she is the victim here.

Another laugh and blood pours from my wounds.

“No, you’re right. It’s not my fault he’s with her. It’s yours.” She bows her head and I watch as my own tears drip onto my chest.

Numbness stretching out and rushing along the path of my senses.

My life changes from black, brown and grey to white as the remaining color is stripped away, and I cannot even fathom how to reach out for help.

He has stolen her heart, her soul, her desire, her life…. and she will forever hate me because of it. And I will forever hate him.

She reaches up to fix her hair and I wipe her tears away for her.

She flinched at the softness in my touch, a growl deep in her chest.

I coughed on my lifeblood, my death inevitable now – she’s letting me go.

“What will you do? Please just don’t do this. I love you so much. Let me heal where he has hurt you.” I try to spit out the words, but my death mutates the sound and she starts to leave, only turning one last time to address me.

“I loved him, and he sold my life for a moment of passion in someone else’s arms. And when he asks me why I have another man in my life and he is no longer what keeps me warm at night… I’ll tell him, ‘You let him in’.”

She smiles and leans close and I breathed my last breath.

She turns from the mirror in our bathroom – a new creature – and whatever good remained in her died with me, deep in the recess of her heart where I once lived.

I am her and she is me – but only she remains thanks to you.

L.

*** Picture from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UeyZ5508kCs/UBUSRH7DX3I/AAAAAAAAARI/O2b8g_x1tJM/s1600/341532-bigthumbnail.jpg

Extreme Impatience

Impatience

I swear I was picking daisies out in a field the day God was handing out patience because I have none. I hate even trying to spell the word.

So here is the latest issues with my patience. I almost have my cover art for book two in my series done and I LOVE IT. I want to show everyone the new cover and yet I understand the importance of having a cover reveal that is fresh and new to everyone, not a repeat from your peep show last week when you just couldn’t take it anymore and decided to flash everyone with the goods. We’re talking book covers here people, stay on topic.

I get it, but I still struggle with it.

The other thing. I have on all my latest paraphernalia that’s going with me to the Texas Teen Book Festival that my next book, Destroyed, book II in the series is coming out on November 15th. Well, I’m ahead of schedule by about 2 weeks and it’s actually going to come out on the 1st. That’s already my lack of patience showing.

I honestly wants to wrap up the last 5 chapters tonight, edit like a crazy person for two weeks and release it at the beginning of October, but that is just insane. I released the other one August 29th. I’m impatient and I move extremely quick – two horrible character traits to combine.

This second book will be about 90k words, 35 chapters and 450-485 pages. I started it September 1st and I plan on wrapping it up tomorrow. IMPATIENT.

Anyway, hope you guys are having a great night and just know that if someone is honking at you to GO in the morning, it’s me. Naw… you wish tho! 🙂

L.

**Pic from http://www.chahal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/impatience-153602.png

Message in your writing?

I recently did an author interview and one of the questions was around slipping in a subliminal message into the story. So let me ask you… In your latest story, did you weave in a derivative meaning? Makes me feel like being sneaky like when the movie theater shows you a picture of an ice cold soda and greasy popcorn. Um… yes.

Here’s my response.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

My book was written for more of an escape than for a message to be sent. The one message that seems to run through the pages (inadvertently) is that love has its eye on all of us. Whether in a love relationship or friendship or parent/child relationship, love presses against all of us and invites us to try. Sam, my protagonist, is quite tainted toward loves efforts and yet she finds herself wanting so badly to give in. I guess the message I see, and one I hold true in my own life is that it’s better to have loved and lost a million times than to have never loved at all. I’ll be limping to the end of my life with multiple heartbreaks, but before it broke from those people and situations, it was filled with something magical and right – love.

Almost funny how, whether we mean to or not, some part of who we are and what we believe will always slip into anything we create. What’s your response to the question?

L.