April Wrap-Up

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Back in January, I set some hopes and goals for the new year. While it’s only the end of April, I am really happy with how things are going. This is the first time I have kept up with my goals so far into a new year. Each month I am making progress and/or crossing off items off my to-do list.

Writing: I joined Camp Nano this month. My goals were wide and flexible. As far as the writing part of my goals went, I edited a short story, wrote notes on existing ones and started a new piece. My Camp Nano goal was to log in 35 hours of  time, and I have managed to get in 36! So I am really happy with how things went.

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Reading: Another part of my Camp Nano goal was to catch up on some articles and blogs about writing. I also read a collection of short stories by Sherry D. Ramsey as well as the newest novel in Candace Osmond’s Darktide series. If you want to check out either amazing author, you can buy their stories wherever books are sold. Some of Sherry’s books such as One’s Aspect to the Sun and Candace Osmond’s Darktide Series can be found on Amazon. (Links attached to book titles).

Blogging: I have been posting, sometimes more then I thought lol. This blog has been a great place for me, especially recently. Sometimes you just need a place to get out what you’ve been feeling. I have also been slowly learning new blogging tips. Either way, I am happy and thank YOU for being here.

The Book Pile: I have now read 7 out 15 books for the year. So I am almost half done according to Goodreads, and also ahead of schedule. Considering I barley read the last few years, I am really happy with how I have been doing.

Positive Vibes: Learning how to manage my negative feelings and focus on the good stuff has really come in handy. Even on a blue day or a day I feel like a writing impostor, I don’t dwell on what’s making me feel like crap. I allow myself to feel it, because that’s important. Then I am able to move forward. I still make a note in my journal every day, about something good that happened.

So, how was your month? I hope that May treats you all well!

 

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Book Review: The Pirate Queen by Candace Osmond

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Yessssss. Just. Yes.

I have been an eager beaver to get my hands on the sequel to The Devil’s Heart. I pre-ordered The Pirate Queen right away and I was literally counting down, being patiently impatient.

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I was very anxious to see what was going to happen to Dianna, Henry and her crew. Candace is such a great story teller, I was very curious to know what was going to become of this beloved crew.

The story opens with Dianna being back in the present. She remembers the image on Henry’s face as the threads of time opened up to take her back home. Her need to get back to Henry is deep. After being taken to hospital, she finds out she is carrying his child. The need to get back to him  grows stronger.

Once back in her parents home, Dianna is trying to heal from injuries while frantically looking for a key to get her back to the past. She doesn’t want to be without Henry, and can’t stand the thought of him not seeing their child. Finding a clue, key or a glimpse of hope sends Dianna on a mission, making her aunt worry. Finally, her aunt gives her a journal. But not just any journal. It belonged to her mother, who had time traveled herself.

Dianna, with luck and magic, finds herself back in the past. She makes her way to an inn, and after getting a mysterious letter is reunited with Finn, the big burly Scotsman and friend. While staying at the inn, she makes friends with Lottie. I love this new character. There is much more to her then meets the eye. She is full of secrets and surprises!!!

Dianna and her friends are on the hunt to save Henry. While doing so, we discover some fun twists that send the story and events into another direction. Leaving us with more questions and also the anxiousness of wanting a character to succeed and discover the answers.

I won’t give the whole book away. That would spoil the fun! But Dianna is such a strong character. There needs to be more female characters like her. She is strong, independent and smart. There is no doubt as to why her friends, crew and Henry love her. Lottie is such a fun new addition to the group. There is growth of characters, like the cranky Gus. And deepening of other relationships, such as her friendship with Finn.

The ending also left me a little worried about Henry and what the effect of his past life had on him. He once turned himself into something dark and dangerous. Will Dianna’s love be enough to keep that tortured part of his soul at bay? (Gosh I frickin hope so!)

I have quickly fell in love with these books and characters. I must add that the author, Candace, is such a sweetie and I am a total fan and fangirl. She loves hearing from her readers so if you enjoyed this or any of her other work, she would love to hear from you.

Well, guess it is time for me to check the calendar and start the count down to book three, The Blackened Soul.

Here are some places you can get your copy!

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Kobo

Nook

 

7 Ideas for The Journaling Junkie

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I love to write. Not just fiction. My mom introduced me to journals when I was eight years old. While I haven’t been perfect at keeping them over the years, I do enjoy it. It wasn’t until the last few years that I started keeping alternative journals. So, if you keep a diary/journal or if you don’t but want to, here are a few fun journals to do. (Note: I keep all of these)

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Photo by Dariusz Sankowski. Found on Unsplash.

1- Positivity Journal. I started keeping this journal when the new year came in. It was a way of helping me change my mindset. Last year when Mr. C went away for work, I had to try harder to look on the bright side of things. It isn’t easy being apart from your spouse. I realized before too long that I was feeling better and my way of thinking was changing. So I took out my Wonder Woman journal on January 1st, and wrote down one good thing about my day. And I have done so every day since. Not only does it keep me on track, but at the end of the year I can read it and remember all the good stuff.

2- For the Bookworms. A reading log. I love this one. I started mine back in 2015. I write the title, rate the book, write a mini review and write some quotes. It’s a fun way to look back on books I have read and keep track of my yearly reading goals.

3-Book of Lists. I started this one last year. I am a lover of lists. So I thought I should put them all in one place. I have everything from what I need to do when I spring clean to what movies I want to watch. I tend to make notes on scrap paper when I want to read a book, buy something for home or have a random idea. But the thing about that is I tend to misplace those scraps of paper. So this journal helps keep my scatterbrain in check…somewhat. 😉

4- For the writer. I have journals set aside just for anything writing related. Character ideas, name ideas, plot ideas, story notes, etc… I take this almost everywhere I go, just in case I have an idea I want to jot down or a scene I want to work on.

5- Smashbooks. You can make one themed or have one for whatever randomness you wanna “smash” into it. These are a great place to keep  a memento like doodles, tickets, photos, etc…I have a few of these kicking around.

6-Dream Journal. I used to be really good for keeping one of these in the past. I plan to start one again soon. I dream a lot and I want to start marking these down again. They have helped for story ideas too…sometimes anyway haha.

7- Family Memories. Since my dad passed away, I am trying to hold onto the memories i have of him, but also the stories he told me about growing up and my grandparents. Someday my mom will be gone and I will struggle to remember things she told me. So I recently took out one of my many unused journals (I don’t write in them until I have the perfect topic for them) and began writing down these things. And if I ever have a child, I will pass these onto them.

So, what journals do you keep? Which new journal would you like to start?

Writing: That Impostor Feeling

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You know that voice you hear when you’re writing something and it says things like “Omg this is total crap”, “You really should go back and edit this before you write another word” or “This is worst thing ever written”. 

That voice is the inner critic. The voice that makes you doubt your idea, your story or that last sentence you just wrote.

I learned to tune that asshole out a few years ago. My first time taking part in Nanowrimo, to be honest. There wasn’t any time to listen to him. I couldn’t stop and edit because I had to get to that 50k word goal.

Well, now I have a different voice in my ear when I write. It’s the inner critic’s big brother. The voice that makes me feel like I’m an impostor. A fraud.

This goes beyond the inner critic. This isn’t a matter of writing a horrible paragraph. This is the voice that says “Why do you even write at all? Your stories are garbage and there are soooo many great authors out there. Why are you even trying?”

This asshole is hard to tune out. But I’ll do it.

The last few days I feel like I snuck into the the cool kids house party, but nobody has realized I’m there. I came in the back door, been hanging out by the snack table when I am not hiding in the darker corners of the house.

And it’s only a matter of time before I am caught and thrown out.

Last night I went for coffee with a friend of mine, who is also a writer. She has a number of novels published, short stories published and she is a fantastic story teller. The night before we got together for coffee, I was thinking about how prolific she is and how I wished I could have her talent. While having coffee, she told me she wished she was more prolific. And I had to laugh, and I admitted that the night before I wished she was as prolific as she was. It just goes to show, every writer is hard on themselves, for one reason or another.

When you have these self doubts, ignore them. It’s hard at first, trust me. The easy way would be to quit doing what you love. But then the bastard in your ear wins. And who wants that?

My friend shared this article last night, How to Keep Writing even when you feel like a fraud. I found it really helpful.

So, if you have this impostor feeling, don’t give up. I know I won’t.

 

 

Why I Started Blogging

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I honestly never really thought much of the ‘why’ until recently, believe it or not. When I first started I had a little blog for a year or so called From The Bear Cave. When I started it was because a number of my author friends had blogs too, so I thought, why not?

But it wasn’t going in the direction I really wanted it to. So I put blogging aside for awhile. It was probably a year later (maybe longer, I don’t really remember) that I came back with The Geeky Book Lady. This allowed me to have the freedom I wanted. I am a huge geek who loves to read and write fiction. I felt really good, like I had a do-over.

I blogged the odd time but not as much as I wanted. Life got in the way, and I was dealing with depression and shit in general.

But this year I have gotten back to it, more serious then I have ever been. It isn’t because I am looking for a thrill or validation when I get post likes and a new follow. It isn’t because I am looking to be a popular blog. And it certainly isn’t because I think I have lots of great things to say and everyone should listen.

I think the real reason I started blogging, was to make friends and connections in the writing community. To find other people to nerd out over the newest Marvel movie or bitch about a problem with a current WIP.

I’m from a small place, with not much going on. I love Cape Breton, don’t get me wrong. I just find it hard to find like minded people. One of the reasons I love going to a comic con is because I am totally at home with my peeps. I chat to people everywhere and have even made some friends.

Another reason I started blogging more is because I am trying to be a better writer. That won’t happen if I don’t write. And my mind tends to be one big cluttery mess. So sometimes “word purging” on here helps. It organizes my thoughts or if I have something on my mind, I can get it out and move on.

And one last bonus: it has been helping me keep myself on track with my goals for the year. I love my wrap up at the end of each month because I look at it and think ” fuck yeah I accomplished something.”

We all have our own reasons why we blog. What is yours? 🙂

 

 

A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self: On Writing

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Dear Kid, (cuz yeah, that’s what you still are)

You’re a daydreamer. And good news: that doesn’t stop. Bonus points: it pays off someday. In the not to distant future, you’re gonna get published for the first time. How great is that?!

But here is the thing…you gotta KEEP writing. Even when it is shit. ESPECIALLY when it is shit.

Don’t throw out any of your work. That’s a pain in the heart you can’t get back. Every bit of writing should be kept. Just in case. If anything, you can see how you’ve grown. Or have a good laugh.

Backup EVERYTHING. Anything you save on a laptop, save in other places. Hell, email it to yourself. Because when the time comes and you don’t do that, you will hate yourself. Trust me.

Write more. Put writing at the top of your priority list. Fill those note books with ideas, dreams, scene and plot ideas. Write more short stories. Start those novels. Finish them. Even if it is just ten or twenty minutes a day, write something down.

Read more. Not just fiction. You got that pretty covered. Read books on writing. Blogs on writing. There is lots of great (and not so great) info out there.

And when you get the chance, go to that writers group. Don’t be nervous. Trust me, it’s one of the best things you will ever do.

And last but not least, don’t beat yourself up. When writing isn’t going well or you feel like your idea is stupid, don’t get frustrated. Just keep going Kid. Books and story telling have been in your heart since day 1.

Love,

Your future self

My Personal Writing Tunes

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Every writer has their own method to their madness. Some write at the crack of dawn, others do their best work at night. Some need coffee to get their writing mojo going, while others don’t. (I’m not a coffee girl but I love a good iced coffee…especially when I am sitting down to write). And other authors need silence while some need music blasted while they work.

My writing playlist changes. It depends on my mood. It also depends on the type of piece I am writing. Angst/pain ridden scenes are usually when I listen to Seether. Fight scenes I usually listen to AC/DC or Metallica. Again, all depends on what I am feeling at the moment.

Here are some of my fave tunes to play while I write.

  1. The Devil and The Huntsman by Sam Lee and  Daniel Pemberton. (This is from the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword soundtrack. I love the entire thing, but this song especially. Great for when I am working on one of my fantasy stories.)
  2. July Talk- Push + Pull. I have recently discovered this song thanks to my hubby. Most of the time I write to fast songs, and this is at the top of my playlist when I sit down these days.
  3. Love me like you do  by Ellie Goulding. I love her voice and this song is usually playing when I am writing some sort of romance.
  4. Star ships by Nicki Minaj. Again, fast songs are big on my playlist.
  5. Thunderstruck  by AC/DC. Another fast song and one that’s perfect for action scenes.
  6. Turbo Lover by Judas Priest.
  7. Drown  by Theory of a Deadman. These guys are one of my fave bands, and I got to see them in concert two years ago. I always have a few of their songs playing when I write. Drown  is one of my all time fave songs by them.
  8. Anything by Rhianna. I am not listing her songs simply because most of them are on my playlist. I tried to pick a fave for this list but that’s like asking me to pick my favorite book in the world.
  9. For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica.
  10. Crazy Bitch by Buck Cherry.

So, what’s on the top of your writing playlist? I would love to hear them in the comments! Maybe I will find some new faves to add to mine! 🙂