A To Z Reflections 2019 #atozchallenge

Congratulations to all those who completed the A to Z Challenge!

It was my fourth kick at this challenge and though I changed course part way, I sort of finished.

Sort of finished…

I fell to my “back-up” plan and posted old songs I haven’t heard in years according to the alphabet.

But I’m still going to give my four reflections on my A to Z Challenge experience today like other participants.

Reflection #1: NO more continuous fiction stories. The ones I wrote before worked out since I only had one character. I can’t post any old words just to keep up with a challenge – quality over quantity. But I will be continuing the story off-blog for my email subscribers during summer time;

Reflection #2: “One” word or shorter titles like What Sandra Thinks and The Dream Girl Writes are the way to go for these challenges. I truly enjoyed the lightness, flexibility and variety of their posts;

Reflection #3: If my posts are not prescheduled ahead of time, I’m not participating. I have yet to spend April reading other’s posts and not writing against the calendar;

Reflection #4: April is NOT a good writing month for me. Work deadlines, tax filing month and putting sweat into A to Z posts that are unrelated to my (many) unfinished projects is not a good leverage of my writing time.

Conclusion: I think it’s safe to say that 2019 might have been my last participation A to Z Challenge. But if you’ve never done it, I would strongly encourage you to.

If you didn’t participate but are curious to read the wonderful blogs of those who did, click here.

I’ll be using this as part of my summer reading list!

Bisous,

M xoxo

Advertisements

Diverted, Not Defeated #atozchallenge

Challenges are always a great way to get me motivated.

However this April’s A to Z Challenge will become an OFFLINE challenge during May and June.

Not only do I feel at ease with my decision to change course, but I’ve lifted a weight from my own shoulders.

I can give you all the reasons (besides the usual) for why, but here are just a few:

  • it’s tax time and the ish needs to get done;
  • memoir writing and dance classes I signed my folks up for to get them more active and engaged requires temporarily switching up my schedule; and
  • doing ground work on a project now that should lighten my load later this summer.

But more importantly, I’m simply not willing to write anything just to post something to keep up with the A to Z Challenge.

I have other installments alread drafted but I prefer let my ideas develop organically. Going back and dropping Easter eggs into previous sections of a story is not easy and requires some thought.

And…I truly like where my story is going so I’m not going to rush it.

My email subscribers will continue to have access to my offline draft that is now open for “comment” but you’ll see that as of “H”, I’ve only been posting the songs linked to each installment I had planned.

That’s where it’s at friends – I’ve diverted but I’m not defeated.

So, if you just stumbled across my blog, for the rest of this month’s A to Z Challenge, I will only be posting the song links that inspired my A to Z Challenge story.

If you are interested in what I wrote from “A” to “G”, feel free to go back to the beginning by CLICKING HERE.

And like I said, readers who are on my mailing list will continue to have access to my in-progress story offline as well as be able to make comments.

Bisous,

M xoxo

 

 

 

 

Monday Musings: Doing It

When I started revamping this blog, I had planned to stick to topics to which all readers could relate. I thought I could write posts that could please anyone and everyone who stumbled across this space.

Nothing too controversial.

Maybe a little more on the plain-side.

Safe.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my “plan” was based on fear.

Fear of readers losing interest, fear that some readers may not relate to what fuels my stories and the types of topics I think are important to speak to within my writing.

So…no, I’m not going to limit myself to posts that don’t resonate with me just to keep random readers or even dedicated reader-followers.

I’m not going to let fear dictate the kind of writer I desire to be.

My updated About page speaks to who I am so if I lose readers along the way, oh well.

Like the lyrics of that old song, “ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself”.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do…

Monday Musings: Three Left Turns

“Sometimes we have to make three left turns, instead of one right, to find our way.” – Tricia Huffman

I’ve had quite a few stops and starts with my dream of becoming a published writer.

Besides the obstacles I’ve placed in my own way, life has taken me on detours and played some dirty tricks.  Only recently have I realized that if I keep my eye on the prize and make the decision to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep moving towards my goal, I’ll get to where I want to be.

No, I’ll get to where I need to be.

It’s a waste of time thinking about where I could have been if I had gotten out of my own way a long time ago.

Maybe my outlook has improved because I’m revisiting my  “live your life now” theme of my novella. Maybe it’s because my edits are going really well (I’ve put myself on a “schedule”). Or maybe it’s because I no longer have a fear of the boogeyman I thought was waiting to jump out at me from behind the scary self-editing process curtain ( I gifted myself a few online courses for Christmas and they demystified everything)…

Whatever the reason, I’m feeling totally light and positive about my editing progress and writing in general.

It’s like I’m attracting a bunch of good writing stuff – pieces of the puzzle I need to know are “finding” me instead of me chasing after them.

When I couldn’t figure out how to use YWriter and Scrivener after NaNoWriMo, Pressbooks fell into my lap when I was focused on something else. When I wanted to find one great resource about marketing, Seth Godin‘s name popped up in a podcast I was listening to. And when I wanted to find authors in my genre who know how to balance their blog, book, and newsletter content, I stumbled across three great ones (outside of my genre) within the same week.

The universe is helping me because I’m helping myself and not allowing myself to get discouraged anymore.

I’m seeing that if it weren’t for my “left turns”, I don’t think that I would have gotten to this point in my writing journey. Maybe I needed all the twists in the road to make me more optimistic than I have ever been been about my writing. And maybe I needed the discouraging naysayers in my past for me to fully understand that writing is all about me, my passion and my outlet.

I’m still writing.

I’m still here.

And writing is a part of my life that will never disappear.

It’s never too late to chase your dreams as long as you start today and keep moving forward, right?

What dream do you need to start chasing again? If you’d like to share, feel free to drop it in the comments.

M xoxo

Stripping Down

Stripping down my blog into more of a “writer’s platform” has been relatively easy.

If you poke around, you’ll see that lots of my fiction and posts unrelated to “writing” are gone.

Slowly but surely, more posts will vanish as I post more about my writing side and progress updates.

If you are new here or if you aren’t sure about the type of fiction I love to write, I have updated my About page to reflect my focus and still have quick stories posted under the Fiction Sampler menu.

If what I shared on my About page resonates with you or if you enjoyed the Fiction Sampler, feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter where I share more of my “personal” side – what makes me tick as a writer, a woman, a woman of color all rolled up into one. The newsletter gives the background to my stories, the themes they speak to and which ones relate to true-to-life experiences. And as an added bonus, I’ll give sneak peeks of excerpts of WIPs.

In short, I’m all about contemporary fiction, women’s fiction and romance. I didn’t think it was in me but I’ve somehow tumbled deeper into the romance writing vortex. Maybe with all the craziness in the world these days every time I turn on any kind of media, incorporating more sweet, sexy an romance into my work is a great escape. But if you already know me, you know that my kind of romance involves twists and lots of them – I just can’t resist them.

So, if your reading preferences involve historical romance, heroes with Fabio-like hair or millionaire men with secret babies, gritty urban fiction, or 21 year old virgins being initiated into BDSM, I’m definitely not your girl.

Outside of this space, I’m working on my monthly newsletter content and making big strides in editing my first A to Z Challenge story into a novella. I FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY found a self-publishing software program that I can wrap my head around without getting a migraine.

Though more of my time will be spent outside of this blog space, I hope to continue deepening my connection with you as readers interested in my stories and as fellow writers on their own self-publishing paths.

Bisous,

M xoxo

Time Does Not Heal All Wounds…

Time doesn’t heal all wounds.

Time just allows you the opportunity to learn how to deal with them.

I reposted “Ripple Effect from 2017 because I believe that it fits into “current events” that I will not delve into here.

But I will ask questions to which I do not have the answers…

Why is it so difficult for some people to understand that keeping quiet about traumatic experiences does not mean that the events never happened or that they were a figment of someone’s imagination?

At what point in time does someone’s truth become a lie simply because they did not disclose their experience soon after it initially happened? Is it one week, one month or one year? Maybe five years or ten years?

And tell me, why is it hard for some to comprehend that sometimes keeping silent is the only way to avoid being re-victimized with:

‘Well, what were you wearing?”

Why were you there in the first place?

Why did you let it happen?

If it was really that bad, why didn’t you say something before?’

It shouldn’t be a struggle to understand that sometimes keeping quiet is a choice – a choice between two evils, neither of which has a statute of limitations on the soul.

You can read my “Ripple Effect” here.

M