Monday, March 23, 2015

Seven Things About Writing

Philip Overby challenged me tell seven things about my writing life that you may not know (or care) about. Here ya go:

1.      Last year, I promised myself to publish one book a year for five years. I have it in my head that after five books I'll become a magical success and a millionaire. I know that's na├»ve, but the point is to finish.
2.      Last year I published two short stories. I'm not counting them as novels, so I'm publishing two novels this year. Coal and Black Beauty.  Next year I'm releasing be COAL Book 2. I'm not sure what the other two books will be yet.
3.      COAL was partly inspired by a super sad movie I saw when I as kid named I Know My Name Is Steven

4.      Recently, I read that all novels are some form of fan fiction. Translation, there is nothing original under the sun. So most of my writing has been formed by reading
1.      R.A. Salvatore's the Legend of Drizzt,
2.      Holly Black's Modern Fairy Tale series, 
3.      Wild Seed by Octavia Butler
4.      City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare 

5.       This year I've averaged 20 hours per week of writing. I was lucky if I got five hours previous last year. I'm learning time makes all the difference. 
6.      I didn't know there was a such a thing as a creative writing major while I was in college. 

7.      I didn't know receiving fan mail would feel so good. Send me all the fan mail. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Just Between Friends: A Shopping Review

I am a minimalist and I am on a mission to pay off my mortgage and student loans in the next five years. So I avoid shopping if possible. But when I do shop, I like to buy nice expensive things that I know will last for a while. Instead of cheaper items that may not stand up to the test of time. So when a few Oklahoma Woman Bloggers were given $20 to shop at Just Between Friends to see exactly how much we could buy. I was curious to see how minimalism would work with what I thought would be a store full of used clothes.

I was excited because I didn't think there would be anything there for bigger kids. I had this idea in  my head of a thrift store, but I was very, very wrong. There was a large inventory full of nicely used and new clothes.  When I ran into school uniform heaven, I ended up spending an extra 10 dollars. It would have been more if I had bought in a credit card. My ten year old has to wear uniforms to school and there were an entire section ripe for the taking.

I ended up with 3 pair of uniform shorts and a t-shirt for 30 dollars  I regret this now; I should have bought more pants. The day I went shopping it was a beautiful 70 degrees outside. Now it's like 18 degrees. But as soon as it warms up again my son will have lots of shorts to wear. 

Anyways, I would totally return to a JBF sale. The selection was off the hook. 

Monday, February 16, 2015


+Janiera Eldridge featured my short story Chaos on her blog for Black history month.

You should stop by and say hi and represent for me.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Diverse Book Tours: Realm of the Goddess by Sabina Kahn

So, I am super excited about Realm of the Goddess because once I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. That doesn't happen often. So I'm doubly motivated to spread my love of this book around so more people will read Realm of the Goddess and Sabina will write more. Her writing style is simply off the hook!

Realm of the Goddess felt like a mix between N.K. Jemison's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms with the comfortable writing style of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones.

For my stop, Sabina told me ten random things about herself and the book. After reading this, I think I might have a girl crush on her now.

10 Random Things About Sabina Khan and Realm of the Goddess

 1.   I love to sing, especially at Karaoke
    I want to see this!

2. I speak five languages and when I talk to my parents we use a mix of them all.

3. I want to wake up one day with superpowers.

4. I am afraid to close my eyes in the shower because a spider might be lurking somewhere.

5. Callie, the MC in my novel has a lot of similarities to my older daughter.
    Coal, my upcoming novel, is based on my son. 

6. In my novel I talk quite a bit about my favorite Indian dishes.
    While I read the book, I kept getting so hungry! 

7. While I was writing my novel I made two new best friends: Vodka and gummy bears. They refuse to leave my side.
    Vodka and with gummy bear chasers.  I must try this thing.

8. No matter how exhausted I am, I’m always up for dancing like a fool.
    I have regular dance parties at 2 pm to wake myself up.  

9. Callie’s hair in the novel was inspired by my own, thick, curly and completely out of control.

10. I am fierce when it comes to women’s rights and animal abuse.

I told you.  I'm girl crushing for real. Below is the... 

Seventeen year old Callie discovers she is an avatar of the powerful Hindu Goddess Kali and she has to save the world from Mahisha, the King of Demons. Now Callie has to accept her fate and control her powers. Before she can face Mahisha, she must find the Sword of Knowledge that the Immortals had given Kali five thousand years ago.

As Callie embarks upon the dangerous quest to find this weapon, she must travel deep into the jungles of India to find a temple that time has forgotten. The Rakshakari, who are sworn to protect the Goddess, guide her on this treacherous journey, fraught with demons and mortal conspiracies.
She is accompanied by the gorgeous, enigmatic Shiv for whom she feels an inexplicable but undeniable attraction. Can she trust Shiv with her life or are there dark forces at work that will divide loyalties and leave Callie at the mercy of Mahisha and his army of demons?

Book Links

Amazon: Purchase Link
Barnes & Noble: Purchase Link
Book Depository: Pick up internationally!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Thoughts on Marriage So Far

Thoughts on Marriage So Far

via Flickr (not me!)
I used to have a single’s blog.  I removed it a few years ago because being single was no longer a big factor in my life and I got tired of blogging about it.  It used to be a big part of who I was.  Damn it was hard being single raising two kids. 

 So I started this blog.  It’s supposed to be a writing blog, but I gave myself permission to write about anything and everything I wanted, even though I know niche blogs do better in the long run. But I knew if I only blogged about writing I'd get bored. I like to write, but I don't necessarily like to write about writing.

Anyways, once I stopped focusing on being single, I found the man I was destined to marry. We’ve been married for six months and we've been together for 2.5 years. I am in no way an expert on marriage, but here is what I've learned so far.

1.       Plans change. We both had pictures in our heads of our future.  God laughed at us. I had a picture of us working together to pay off debt and then living a happy carefree life.  He had a picture of us traveling the world because for the first two years we bonded over traveling.
But he lost his job two weeks before the wedding and decided to go back to school full-time. I decided to stop traveling to pay off debt. It goes without say, him not have a job impacted my get out of debt plan, and my get out of debt plan impacted his dreams of traveling. 

It’s been rough.  I’m not happy with him not working, but I support him because I know in the end we’ll end up in a good spot. Penelope Trunk recently wrote, "We both know that good marriages require two people who are able to be kind to each other even if things are crumbling around us." So far my husband and I are still being nice to each other.  We're still hugging and kissing. Six months down a lifetime to go.

2.       Having somewhere there doesn't  make all of your problems go away. Things still break and don't get fixed in a timely manner. The yard may not get mowed. Dishes stay in the sink longer than they should. Wires get crossed. Communication fails. No on is perfect. 

3.       Having the right person does make things easier. I’ve made a lot of changes over the past couple of years, and most of them have been made because I had a partner and someone to encourage me.

Only three lessons after six months; damn that’s not much. But the rules of a good marriage aren’t hard, it’s living the rules that’s hard.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Mellow Music of a Teenager

Since my daughter forgot her Itunes password she and I have been sharing my amazon music account. I wasn't too happy about it because I thought she'd litter my playlist with teeny bopper music. I've since changed mind. My daughter has excellent taste. So for my first Mix Tape Shuffle. I a smooth o short mix I play on repeat in the background and it always soothes my writing soul.

Maya's Mellow Playlist by Constance Burris on Grooveshark

Monday, February 2, 2015

Putting In The Time

Somewhere between high school and college I figured out the meaning in life. I knew this was a big deal because all around me were people lost and unhappy. But somehow, I figured it out.  And for most part it allowed me to live a happy, charmed, and blessed life. Here is the secret: Follow Your Dreams

Living my dreams lead me to graduate hish school graduate, and college graduate, buy a house, had some kids, traveled through the US and Costa Rica, and finally I got married.

The one thing I've been working on that has yet to happen is to be a writer, publish a book, and then publish lots of books.

I've been talking about being a writer for years, I would sneak an hour there or an hour here.  But something has changed.  I’m not happy with stolen hours. Writing wants to take over my life. My spirit is uneasy and I'm at war with myself. I talked to my hubby and we worked out a schedule where he would help out more at home and I would work on finishing my novels.

Coincidentally this coincided with the beginning of the year.  So for the Month of January I averaged 30 hours of writing on top of a normal 40 hour work week.  Those numbers are pretty incredible. 

Here is what I've learned from looking at writing as a part time job and trying to quiet spirit.

1.       A stolen hour is not enough (side note: its better than nothing).  It takes a long ass time to make headway on a novel.  It takes a long ass time to edit. It takes at least an hour to get into flow.  So sitting for just an hour is akin to sitting for 10 minutes.  A writing/editing session should be three to four hours.

2.       I can't work from home.  No work gets done.  There is the TV, my sexy husband, wine, TiVo. My adorable ten year old, Dishes. So I go to McDonald's or Panera Bread.  It's interesting to see the regulars. The people who show up at the same time every day. I am one of those people.

3.        I love it.  When I look at the numbers, I feel like  I should be mad at all the time I've put in.  But I'm ecstatic.  I love writing, and now I'm not so mad about editing. I used to hate it because I felt like it ate away so much time, but now that I have more time. I see an end to it, so it's not such a big deal.

I'm curious though.... What do you think the meaning of life is?