The End of a Decade (And What the Hell Happened to PeWriMoMo)

Happy New Year!

Hi everyone!

It seems I have dropped the ball here lately, and I’m sorry–but it’s all for exciting reasons. 

I received my developmental edits for The Order of the Key, and they were. . .a lot. But they were all amazing and thought provoking and the novel is so much better now that I’ve made them. On top of working on those, I’ve begun working on forming a marketing plan for the book, as these things don’t just happen, and small publishers have less resources in this area. 

So, I’ve been reading up on publicity and marketing practices, and have worked out the beginnings of a plan. And I’m really excited for it. 

Then, I got my line edits for Order. And I. Am. Tired. 

All of this + the holiday season, means that while I ended up abandoning my PeWriMoMo adventure in November, I probably wrote the requested word count in just new and rewritten scenes. But I didn’t keep track. Not really. So there that wonderful idea went. 

I was going to wait until I was finished with my line edits to give you guys an update, but I realized what an important time we were in, and I didn’t want to miss out on the recap. 

This decade has been very kind to me. In the last ten years, I became a mother. My relationship with my husband has grown stronger than ever. I stepped into my own as an author. I built my career as an editor. Sold seven short stories, two personal essays, one article, and a novel, the same novel, to three different publishing companies–although, this will be the first one to actually publish it (small publishing can be a damned landmine, you guys). I have found an amazing day job with incredibly supportive people. I have continued my relationships with my family, both born and found, and built on them some more. I have forged such wonderful relationships. I have found my writing tribe. 

This decade has also been pretty harsh to me. I received rejection after rejection on things I thought were destined to be successful. I have struggled with the aftermath of sexual assault. I have helped my wonderful, amazing son battle Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Depression and Anxiety, and he has done so like a dang soldier, but that doesn’t mean it was easy. I lost my Grandmother and my Uncle Bobby. I watched friendships I thought would be around forever dwindle into nothing. I’ve had surgeries and been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and have wondered how long it will take for it to have a real and lasting effect on me. My mother nearly died. 

2019 was the hardest of these years, but all of these experiences taught me some amazing things about appreciation and perseverance, and anyone who knows me at all, knows that I have been knocked down, but I never stay down, and that I’m working on counting every triumph and blessing. 

This isn’t the first time I’ve done an end-of-year recap. The last times I’ve done one, I declared the next year to be “my year.” I’m not going to say that about 2020. I’m sure, in some ways, it will be awesome. And in other ways, I’m sure there will be struggle. 

But I am here for the fight, and I’ll keep swinging. And telling you about it. I always intend to include you for the ride. 

Thanks for another year. Get ready for The Order of the Key in July 2020. (You know I had to.) Have a wonderful holiday season and a joyous New Year. I’ll chat with you about the next adventure. 

All my love,

Justine

PreWriMoMo Week 1: UGGGGGH

So…last week I mentioned my desire to gain some more personal writing time, and my journey of PreWriMoMo began. I had a plan. I was going to write different parts from every project I had running in the background of my head. 

There were some complications. Because there are always complications. 

Day 1: I started out strong. 

772 Words – My blog post announcing PreWriMoMo.

43 Words – Landmarks. I absolutely love this fanfic, and yet, after I wrote a large chunk of it, I’ve been dragging along. This was a two line dialogue exchange. But it was something. 

117 Words – A Light So Dim. As I work on my edits for the first half of the story so I’m comfortable moving forward, I’m adding bits here and there. This was a descriptive paragraph, fleshing out scenery. 

103 Words – A Light So Dim Outline – Adding bits of plot and dialogue ideas, so I can flesh out the remainder of the story. 

A wonderful start! 1035 wasn’t the typical Nano 1670, but I’d take it. After all, I knew I couldn’t do the classic Nano word count. 

Day 2: HA HA HA HA HA. That didn’t last long. I didn’t write a word. Between appointments for Logan and a visit to my friend’s house for a party congratulating my friend on passing the Bar Exam, the day went on. 

Day 3: Well, I started out early and wrote about 182 words of dialogue for Nightmarescapes. I squeezed it in while waiting to leave my house. Then, I went out, got into a conversation that triggered my depression and anxiety majorly, and got absolutely NO WORK DONE. Nothing. What a waste of a day. For multiple reasons. 

Day 4: And I’m not getting much better. 

101 words – Jagged Shards Cut Deep. I’m just starting the outlining of this fic. A couple of plot points added. 

175 words – Landmarks. This fic is going to be the death of me. I can only write so much of it at a time. *bangs head on desk*

44 words – Living in the Past – This outline is killing me. I’m still really figuring out the plotline. I keep writing one plot point or two and then leaving it alone. *shrug*

Day 5: After thinking quite a bit about some of the edits I got back, I realized that my book needed a new opening and I worked towards crafting one today. Still awaiting edits on my new opening, which I adore. 

1201 words: Order Edits. 

53 words: I was on a roll, so I added a plot point on Jagged Shards Cut Deep. 

225 words: Landmarks. Added a decent chunk to the next scene.

Day 6: I was completely slammed at my day job today, which meant I never got a chance to write on downtime or breaks. So the fact that I pulled off as much of a word count as I did was kind of miraculous. 

155 words – Superhero Rom Com Outline. I just added the perfect character attribute for my new sidekick. This adds so much to the plot. I’m excited. 

327 words – Blog post. I wrote 90% of this blog post on day 6. The rest is getting written up on day 9. You’ll see why next week. 

39 words – A Light So Dim Outline. Added a teensy line of dialogue.

245 words – A Light So Dim Draft. Cleaned up a few lines and added a few explanations to make things make more sense. I think I’m almost ready to start writing new material for this one. 

52 words – Jagged Shards Cut Deep. Added a plot point. I’m starting to get a stronger idea of the places this story may go. 

Day 7: Oh booooooy. My day was super difficult at work and I was super tired. So when I got home, I fell asleep almost immediately. This amounted to:

59 words – Landmarks – wrote a line of dialogue. 

25 words – Living in the Past – literally added one plot point. 

Hopefully, next week is much better, but it’s not off to a great start. At the very least, I’ve written more? Baby steps…

PeWriMoMo–Personal Write More Month

Pardon my hyperactivity. I am very excited today, this is a spontaneous post, and I haven’t edited it. Bear with me.

In September, those of you who follow me on social media may have noticed I was gearing up for NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. My plan was to use the website to track my progress, but to be a rebel. I would work on the second half of a YA dystopian novel I started a while back, A Light So Dim, something that I’m starting to believe may be the best thing I’ve ever written. And I’m not joking. I stepped away, walked back and was impressed and in love with my opening pages. I even started workshopping them in the attempt to get myself back into writing mode from the edit/query mode I was stuck in. 

And then, something SPECTACULAR happened. At the end of September, I got the news that Black Rose Writing had accepted my novel (another YA, but this time Urban Fantasy), The Order of the Key, for publication. And I got swept up in the edits requested of me by my publisher and I’ve just finally handed them off to my editors last week to await another round. 

And then I sat back and did nothing. Well, no. Not nothing. I began working at establishing connections or re-establishing connections in the writing world, because I’m rejoining the published part of it (which I had left after my last publisher for Order crashed). But I wasn’t writing. 

It bothered me. I’ve got a ton of projects waiting in the wings, and I’ve been cycling through bits of work on all of them, and now I had to wait to get my edits back, which are due in January, and there is no way I can possibly start writing A Light So Dim again in earnest, because I’ll get thrown off by the return of my edit letter. 

So. What to do? How could I keep going and stop myself from feeling dormant on the writing side of my writing career? Because you probably have figured this out already, but in order to promote things you’ve written, you have to write them first. 

Therefore, I have declared this Personal Write More Month, or PeWriMoMo. Yes, I’m aware this sounds ridiculous, and yes, I giggle every time I read it out loud. But if you don’t realize I’m ridiculous by now, you need to pay closer attention. 

The rules of PeWriMoMo (heh, heh) is as follows. I work on any one of my list of pending projects and get a word count on any work I’ve done. I try for the standard 1,760 words a day that come with NaNoWriMo, but don’t cry if I don’t make it, and I do it across all projects. 

And I get myself moving again. These stories ain’t gonna write themselves. 

So here is a peak into my mind, aka all the moving parts I have going in my brain at once. 

PeWriMoMo Projects

Order of the Key Edits
A Light So Dim Edits and Additions
A Light So Dim Outline

Blog Posts – Because you still deserve to hear from me. 
Nightmarescape — that multi-chapter fanfic I’m working on (fanfic is art too, people)
Landmarks — that adorable one-shot fanfic I’m working on (sshhhhh I know these won’t make me money, but I  want to work on them.)
Jagged Shards Cut Deep — that new fanfic I literally dreamed up on the train today that won’t shut up so it might as well make this list.
The Lost Key reread/comment for edits — An Order of the Key sequel? It could happen…if I can make what I wrote of it work after completely overhauling chunks of Order. We’ll see.
The Lost Key Outline — Or maybe I can rework the entire thing? 
Lucy Dies in the End Outline — my weird YA Fantasy Noir Detective story. 
Living in the Past Outline — could this be an actual Adult Supernatural tale?
Superhero Rom Com Outline — sort of New Adult, sort of funny, definitely superheroes, no title to speak of. 
Reality Check Outline – I’m still not sure what the hell this story is. I have spectacular ideas for it, and no structure at all, but I refuse to make this once Adult Rom Com, now maybe NA Rom Com die. SHRUG. At some point, I’ll figure it out. 

I’m going to be using this blog to keep me accountable, so join me on my weird journey. And feel free to actually join me and write all the things! 

While you’re at it, for the love of all that is holy, somebody get me a coffee. Or take away the Halloween Candy. Something.

772 words and counting…