The King of Fiction

As a writer I’m constantly looking for tidbits of advice from other authors. By far my favorite list of advice has come from Stephen King. The master of horror, weird, odd and all things twisted and scary.

He is prolific, but even that description doesn’t really explain just HOW prolific he is. If you’re a writer than you will totally understand not only how but why he came up with the story Carrie. Reading that passage from his book – Stephen King on writing, a Memoir of the Craft- I could see the minute the light bulb went off. It was one of the coolest things I’ve read in a while.

I’d read little bits of this book on writing, online whenever I did research on writer’s block. The advice was great but I needed a little more. Something I can point to and read over and over again.

A lot of it is common sense stuff but when as writers do we employ much common sense. Imagine how boring stories would be then.

I’m half-way through and starting the chapter on your writing toolbox. I’m really enjoying his honesty and the part where he describes meeting and falling in love with his wife Tabitha. It was cool, they hung with the poets and made fun of them when they became uppity about their art…She brought out the best in him, supported his goal of writing and never wavered no matter what kind of job or place they had to live in. I LOVE stories like this. The absolute belief they had in each other, I found it amazing.

I’m hoping to finish it up tonight, it’s a short book – only about 285 pages…so its a fast read. I’ve always admired writers like Stephen King and others who deliver story after story to fans who can’t wait to get their hands on copies of new work by them.

If you’re an author who gets that dreaded block this book about writing might be for you. I highly recommend it.

http://978-147675540

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=stephen+king+on+writing

It’s a new dawn…it’s a new day…it’s a new life…

     I love that song. I think it’s a wonderful reminder that each day is new and we have the opportunity to improve ourselves and our lives. As a writer this is especially important. It’s easy to let your past define your present. To feel like an epic failure when you don’t release any new books for such a long period of time. I’ve had an easier time blogging than opening up one of my files and write. My biggest mistake is that I’ve allowed other people to call into question my writing skills. We can either let their words cripple us, see it as a challenge or we can put it out of our heads completely.

I choose the latter because in the end, it’s what I love to do and those who know nothing about writing have no idea what they’re talking about. I’m not referring to reviews and reviewers. I’ve never taken offense to their criticism. I let those who wanted nothing more than to tear me apart, made me second guess everything about my ability to write a good story. But one day you will wake up and say “What the fuck? What a joke.” and you find that there isn’t anything that anyone can say about story telling if you just let it go.

January 1rst I woke up and instead of thinking “Oh shit here we go again.” I looked forward to what the day would bring. Experiencing the kind of freedom I hadn’t felt in a very long time. We can easily let negativity wrap itself around of us, choking us until we give up and let the pain eat away at who we are. Or we can shake it off and move forward.

    I’ve learned to appreciate all the things in my life, big or small and to put things in perspective. Accepting the world for what it is not trying to force it to be what I want it to be. I’m responsible for what I do and how I do it. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone else’s pain anymore. Whatever you put out into the universe comes back to you tenfold. Even in science there’s a reaction for every action. I’ve been paid back enough though and have stepped back into the light.

In celebration of all I’ve learned, my writing partner and I will be releasing a new novella, Wright in Flight this month. I’m not sure of the exact date but it will be out soon.

   Wright in Flight is a story about a fairy and the human she falls for. We’ve taken character’s from ” A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” Oberon and Puck included. It’s a humorous, light-hearted, little romp, something that’s a real departure for us.

I’m still plugging away at my new series and hope that it will be finished by the end of the month. I’m excited about this new series and can’t wait to get it done.

I’ve also set up my reading goals for the month. 4 books a month at the minimum. I read pretty fast so I might be able to push it to 8 this month and throw in a couple of novellas. When you write it’s so important to read books. It helps you know what readers are into and for me it keeps me motivated. There are so many excellent writers and I think we authors look up to those who have the gift of telling a great story.

   J.R Ward is one of my favorite writers. Her Blackdagger Brotherhood series is exceptional. It’s dark, emotionally charged and they stay with you long after you’ve finished reading them. Her hero’s are imperfect and damaged. I love how the women they love accept them for who they are and I like the fact that they continue to be haunted by their long lives. Love can conquer many things but there are somethings that can never be forgotten. It makes the characters so complex and watching them go through unimaginable tragedy and pain has brought me to tears more than once. So what’s the pay off? It’s that these deeply flawed men discover the parts of themselves that are good and their love is unconditional. The power of friendship these men have for each other and the love they feel for their mates is very powerful. J.R. has done an amazing job with all the elements and when I grow up I’d love to be like her. With her ability to get across the page everything my characters are feeling. I want to paint a rich tapestry of the realities of the world I write.

 

Closing out 2014

          2 days left before 2014 is behind us. This is the first time in many years that I’m looking forward to starting a new year. So many wonderful things have happened over this year and I’ve learned so much about myself. I was finally able to pull myself out of the pity party I was having and living for today. My personal life has finally come full circle and I’m enjoying time spent with those I love. I’ve removed those who were toxic from my life and have allowed others back in.

Adding to all the positives has been the weather in Michigan. Yeah, it’s starting to get cold but there’s been no snow (it’s coming I know but hey I’ll take it). The best thing by far has been all the sunny days we’ve had. The worst thing about winter here is the dark and dreary days that bleed together as days turn to months. This Leo is thrilled and grateful for everyday of sunshine we get and I always make sure to spend some time outside, enjoying the large, yellow orb in the sky. I love the summers here and have no problems with the heat unless it’s really humid out. I could never live in Florida or Georgia just because of the humidity. Even if I lived close to the water there’s nothing quite as oppressive as hot, humid days. But luckily we don’t suffer too much from that. Some years have been worse but all in all I can’t complain.

My writing has exploded over the past three months and I’m so excited about the coming year and what I’m working on. I’m going to experiment a little with some of my stories.

1. I’m delving into Urban fantasy. Yes, there will be some romantic element to the stories but I’m focusing more on the action and world building aspect and the romance will be more of a sub plot. My dystopian re-telling of King Arthur will fit nicely into this category.

2. I also have a new series I’m working on that I thought would be my urban fantasy but the more I’ve written the more it’s become clear that the romance is just as important as the other elements of the story. How erotic I’m going to make it remains to be seen. But I’m really excited about it.

3. I have a new werewolf series I’ve been working on as well. I haven’t published anything new since March but I have been writing.

4. I’m also working on the 4th Alexander Wolves book- Nolan’s Dark Sacrifice. I’ve had a lot of readers ask me about that book and it’s been started.

5. I would like to revisit Club BBW. I deleted Silky Sweet which told the owner of the clubs story. For my own personal reasons I killed the story and want to re-write it with a new hero that is a better match for my girl.

6. Finally VJ and I will have something from the world of Club Velvet Ice, hopefully more but I don’t know what or when that will be.

I’ve set these specific goals because it’s time. Taking the year off was what I needed to do. I didn’t like it. Didn’t like feeling like I was paralyzed but it helped me to really come to terms with what is important, who is important and where my place in the world is. Profound? No, millions of people go through the same thing all the time and as we all know you can’t tell anyone, anything they don’t want to know. They have to learn it on their own and that includes me. It was the end of my time being on the outside looking in. I’ve reached a place where I can say that I’m really, really happy. It’s reflected in the way I take care of myself and my family. In my writing and my belief in love and romance. In the joy I find I have more often than not. I’ve learned to turn off the negative shit and not obsess about it on bad days. I’ve found my compassion again and hope it is with me always.

The beginning of this is going to be a test for sure. My mother is very ill and we aren’t sure what is going to happen with her but I have to hope that things will improve. Wasting time thinking about the worst doesn’t help her and only stresses me out and my dad needs me to help facilitate things for them.

At the same time my son is having MAJOR reconstructive surgery on his foot. My job there will be to take care of him. Make sure his schoolwork is kept up. At this point it looks like he’ll be out of school for about a month or at least until he’s able to get around without a wheelchair or walker. His high school is 3 stories and the elevator has a sketchy history of breaking down. Between the DH and I though we’ll be able to help him through the surgery, recovery and physical therapy. Of course I’m scared as hell but I have faith in his surgeon, he’s one of the best in Mi.

When January is in the mirror, the stress should again die down until the next time.

I’m re-reading series as well. The first is the Christine Feehan, Carpathian novels. 25 in all so far. I stopped reading them after 12 of them so I have plenty more of them to go. I love her writing and am so glad I’m doing this.

So I say adios to 2014. Goodbye to the struggles I used to have. Goodbye to all the negative, self-doubt and worry. I’m looking forward to continuing what I started this year and want nothing more than to make each and every day better than the day before. I’ve  EXISTED for such a long time and have finally been able to be a participant in life once again. Don’t get me wrong. I still won’t be taking any shit from anyone but I also won’t be wasting my time on people,places and things that don’t make me happy and bring nothing but all the bad feelings you can have when you think about them. I didn’t wake up one day and poof, my world was right again. It was a gradual thing, like removing one brick at a time from the wall that’s standing in my way. A continual work in progress that’s working so far.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the New Year celebrations. Please, please don’t drink and drive. I don’t really ever drink, in fact I can’t remember the last time I did and I don’t have anything against it. BUT if you make the stupid ass decision to get behind the wheel after a couple of drinks you’re being selfish and reckless. There are plenty of places that will be offering rides for those who are too drunk to drive. AAA has a program for the New Year’s Eve. Take advantage of all the services out there while you enjoy your holiday. Drunk driving is something that I’m passionate about and those who know me, know they only have to call- at anytime- and I will pick them up. If you’re not a drinker, offer yourself to your friends who may need the help.

          Take care of yourselves and I hope that you all have a spectacular New Year!

All my love,

Sierra

                                           

Cooking & Reading

In the never-ending quest to improve myself, I’ve embarked on a cooking & baking frenzy. Now, I can honestly tell you I hate cooking & baking just sucks. But the more I explore, the better I’ve become. The cooking part has been a little easier. Trying new recipes, new spices and new foods for the family (I’m very picky but I do make what they like and if I don’t like it, I’ll just make me something small.) I still don’t really enjoy cooking. It hurts my brain trying to come up with a protein and an appropriate starch and veggies.  My kids have always liked my cooking and  they and the DH are enjoying what I’m giving them.

Baking, holy crap, it’s like being a chemist. You have to follow the recipes as closely as possible, making sure the measurements correct and in the correct order. UGH!!!!!!!! But in this area, I’m getting better as well. Last week I went to my bestie’s home and she, another friend and I baked cookies for about ten hours. Today I successfully made a cherry pie (no I did not buy a frozen one and pop it into the oven, though it would have been less stress) for my hubby. He loves fruit pies so I thought why not start making them as well as 6 dozen cookies for Christmas. The next hurdle to conquer is baking a home-made cake that isn’t lopsided. But there is something to be said for turning on the music and dancing your way around the kitchen while cooking. It’s slowly becoming more enjoyable.

 

Re-reading:

I’m back on a reading kick. It’s been way too long since I’ve dug in deep to read and some of my favorite authors have a lot of books I haven’t read yet. So my solution is that I’m going to start the series I’ve read over and read everything that’s been written up until now. It’s another step in my writing as these authors are what inspired me to write paranormal books.

First up- Christine Feehan- Dark Series

Christine’s books were my first reads where the hero’s were all flawed, very alpha and walked the line between good and evil very carefully. You’re right there when these couples fall in love. No purple prose- thank you.

So here’s the order and I hope to be through the entire series by the end of FEB…We’ll see, there are 28 in the series so far and here’s the reading order.

Dark Prince, Dark Prince, Dark Desire, Dark Gold, Dark Magic, Dark Challenge, Dark Fire, Dark Guardian, Dark Dream, Dark Legend, Dark Symphony, Dark Descent, Dark Melody, Dark Destiny, Dark Hunger, Dark Secret, Dark Demon, Dark Celebration, Dark Possession, Dark Curse, Dark Slayer, Dark Peril, Dark Predator, Dark Storm, Dark Nights, Dark Lycan, Dark Wolf and Dark Blood.

It’s quite a list but I’m also doing research as these books are all about the world she created for them. Since I really love to write in a series format, and it takes a lot of work but I’m giving it one hell of a try.

A Goodread book challenge.

I recently joined Goodreads and one of the groups I joined has issued an August reading challenge. With so much going on in my life I haven’t been able to finish a book in about three months. Writing, editing, homework and family has left me with little time to enjoy my first love.

When I saw the challenge I thought was a better way to make myself put aside a little time to read. I’ve challenged myself to read four books. Half of what I used to read in a slow month. THe cool thing is that there are several categories to choose from so my first choice is to read a book with the color green on the cover, more specifically Peridot ( My birthstone) SO since I will be turning forty..something in a matter of weeks I have chosen to read Hexes and  Hemlines by  Juliet Blackwell.Hexes and Hemlines: A Witchcraft Mystery

I’m not a giant fan of witch stories but I chose this one because its a mystery novel, not a romance. SO wish me luck I’d like to get this read by the end of the weekend 🙂 crossing fingers here……