Breakfast and Books

I’m taking this moment to appreciate the simple joy of watching/helping my husband cook us breakfast. Eating eggs and sausage/bacon every morning sure doesn’t feel like a diet. But, it’s calm moments before our day to enjoy each others company. I love it.

I’ve finished my responsibilities as Editor for this issue of Fab Fables. It’s surreal. I’m an Editor. And an Author. They’re small steps towards my end goal, but they’re undeniable.

In other news, I’ve received almost everyone’s book lists. Just waiting on one more participant, and then I can start building the next Book Club List.  I’m going to pick 6 titles, and do my best to get one from everyone. There’s a couple that overlap, appearing on multiple lists. They’re automatically on the final List.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Not bad. Safe choices for the book club. I’m curious to see what other titles make the cut.

In my reading life, I’m still plowing through The Lies of Locke Lamora. I love it. I can’t get enough of it. And every chapter ups the stakes even more. This book doesn’t stop, and there are layers of intrigue and drama, things the reader knows that Locke doesn’t, that are killing me.

Anyway, I don’t want to gush too much before the book review, but I’m comfortable saying that this is the best book I’ve read since The Name of the Wind.

After this I’m going to read a short novella, Purple and Black by K.J. Parker. Then I’ll dig into the second Gentlemen Bastards book, Red Seas Under Red Skies.

I look forward to it.

I’m off to get ready for my shift at the library. I’ll see you soon, Blogland!

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Free Moment Over Laundry

You’re never going to believe this, but I actually have a free moment!

Well, I’m doing laundry, writing this post, and then going to finish up the formatting and final edits for the Caladria story I’m editing.

But, that pretty much counts in my world.

Trevor and I started a new diet. His coworkers are doing a high fat, low carb diet. He’s been doing it for nearly 2 weeks now, and has lost probably 10lbs. Since around Christmas, he’s lost 21lbs! I’m so proud of him!

I’ve been adhering to the diet since last Thursday, and I’ve lost 6lbs. Though 6lbs isn’t much, it’s still huge for me! I’ve maintained my weight for most of my adult life, despite various efforts at “getting fit” and “eating better”.

So, this is going well. Granted, I can’t eat bread, pasta, or potatoes, but I’m trying not to think about that. I can eat cheese, meat, and most green veggies. Certain fruits, like apples, bananas, and citrus, are off the table. But, pineapple and most berries are fair game.

I think I can live with that. Except tortillas. I miss tortillas something fierce…

Moving on!

Still in the middle of The Lies of Locke Lamora, and still loving it. If you haven’t followed me on Goodreads, you’re missing all my little asides and anecdotes as I read a long.

I haven’t worked on any new projects. I still have a couple Caladria stories, though one’s been put on pause. If the editing/formatting goes well today, I might get to write another few hundred words for Fight of the Best.

But, I also plan on going to Five Guys for a lettuce wrapped burger, and reading on the patio sounds divine. We’ll see how it goes.

The sun’s out today, and it’s actually warm against my back as I walk to the laundry room. That will never cease to make me smile.

Also, tomorrow is the book club’s meeting to FINALLY talk about Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. We’re meeting at a local pub, which is going to be rough. Tater Tots, burgers, all kinds of sandwiches. It’s going to be a real test in self-control. Maybe I’ll eat a block of cheese before I go. The point is, we’re meeting, I’ll finally have everyone’s book lists, and we’ll start reading Stardust!

Well, after I finish Locke Lamora.

Anyway, I’m here. I’m working. And I’m kicking ass at school. Busy times, but I’m not feeling overwhelmed. At least, not anymore.

I’ll see you soon blogland!

BZ

Just Saying “Hi” and the Caladria Writing Contest!

Well, hello there.

I wanted to drop in and say “Hi”, since it’s been a little while. In news, I’m almost done with my read through of John Scalzi’s Redshirts, which means it’s almost time for another book review. Give me about a week on this.

I’ve finished editing my first story for Caladria! I’m not sure what else is expected of me as far as editing goes, but I’m waiting to here from Leah and see what the next step is. Also, there’s a lot of great upgrades coming to the Caladria site, and I’m pretty psyched about them.

Also, if you enjoy writing Fantasy of any kind, Caladria is hosting a writing competition. It began April 1st, click here to learn more!

I haven’t made any progress on my story Fight of the Best, but I know where it’s going and already have a couple initial tweaks ready to implement. I’m just waiting for the time.

What else?

School’s going well. Busy as all get out, and tomorrow I have a French test that I have to squeeze in between shifts.

But, I finally bought a new battery and charger for my laptop! I am mobile once again! I am so thrilled about this, you have no idea. I may have walked around my apartment giggling because I could carry my laptop around with me, and still have it function.

That hasn’t happened since sometime in the winter of 2012.

Sounds like some grave story opening. It was the winter of 2012. The winter the battery died.

And that’s my cue that I need to get to bed.

On a non-writing note, I got to be a part of a good friend’s baby shower. It was her first ever surprise party, and though it was a small gathering, and she’s hitting the end of her pregnancy so she’s pretty miserable, I think she had a good time. I know I did.

All right. Hopefully I’ll talk at you Friday or Saturday. See you then, Blogland.

BZ

On “Becoming a Writer”

This is a phrase that often irritates me. “I want to be a writer.” “I’m going to pursue my dream of being a writer.”

To write. Writing. Writer. It’s a verb, which means you have to DO it! Stop talking about it, and do it.

I am a writer. I’ve had several works published, and more are on the horizon. You probably don’t know my name, and I don’t have any novels published, but I am a writer.

I sit for hours at a time creating worlds and characters and plots. All for the enjoyment of others.

I’m a very driven, stubborn, and probably irritating person. I latch on to goals, and I don’t give up until I’ve reached them. I don’t subscribe to the thought of “meant to be”. If something doesn’t work out, it’s most likely due to some failing on my part. If I’m lucky, it’s someone else’s failing, but that’s not quite as likely.

So when I hear stories of “aspiring” writers, who’ve been working on their first novel for years, but only work 20 hours a week so they can focus on their “craft”, I tend to get a bit heated.

I know that everyone approaches writing fiction differently. But, I’ve written two novel-length manuscripts in less than two years. I worked full-time, and now work 48+ hours a week. I still write. I still edit. And I’m going to school full-time.

But, you can’t pump out your novel working only 20 hours a week?

Writing isn’t about inspiration. It’s not about the “muse”. It’s about drive and discipline. You put yourself in front of the computer, and you don’t get up until you reach a goal. Whether that’s page numbers, word counts, or events in the story is up to you.

I guess I get so frustrated with the above scenario because I fantasize about what I could get done if I only worked 20 hours a week. I would finish Jordinn’s Story, and the edits for Vessels, plus my Caladria work. And my house would stay clean!

It’s upsetting to me that someone could take such liberty for granted.

So stop telling people you’re going to be a writer, and write already!

Sixth of the Dusk Shadows for Silence perfect state
Now that I got that out of my system, I wanted to swing by and talk about my reading list. It keeps growing. Mostly because Sanderson keeps pumping out stories. I’ve got two novellas of his waiting on my phone, and a new novella releases tomorrow! I’ve already purchased it, and amazon will download it straight to my phone when it releases.

I have to say, that’s pretty badass. I won’t succumb to e-reading for my larger books, mainly because I feel naked without a book tucked under my arm, but when my favorite author is pumping out short fiction on an almost monthly basis, I can get behind digital formatting.

Also discovered today was Jim Butcher’s newest series The Cinder Spires, which is a Steampunk series! It doesn’t release until September 29th, which is dangerously close to Sanderson’s Shadows of Self release of October 8th. And school will be in full swing by then.
The Aeronaut's Windlass Shadows-of-Self_Mistborn_Sanderson

Guess I’ll just have to read extra fast.

So you can see that my To Be Read List just keeps growing. I’m not reading fast enough, at all!

Oh, if I only worked 20 hours a week!

Anyway, I’m off to get that French Homework finished. After that I finally start working on my new Caladria story!

See you all Wednesday!

BZ

Reading, Writing, and the 60 Hour Work Week

Well, I made it. Three straight weeks at 60 hours each. Plus school. I made it. All assignments were turned in on time, I was on time to each shift, and didn’t fall asleep in any awkward/inconvenient places or times.

I’m calling that success.

Somewhere in there I found time to edit a story for Caladria, which is almost ready for final approval. Just a couple more correspondences with the author to iron out any little inconsistencies and polishing to really make it shine. I’m pretty proud of the piece. David (the author) worked really hard to clean up the first draft, and I wasn’t exactly a lax editor. At least I didn’t feel that way.
FabFables3
Speaking of Caladria, issue three of Fab Fables is out now! What are you waiting for?

I’m still reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and it’s killing me. 203 pages never seemed so long. And boring. I get it, drugs are bad, and people on drugs are crazy. Can we get to the point all ready? I’m supposed to have it finished by Wednesday night, but I have almost 100 pages to go, and absolutely no urge to read it.

I’m looking forward to reading whatever comes next. I placed a hold on Redshirts by John Scalzi at the library, and can’t wait for that notification. Then I’m pretty sure I’m going to try The Lies of Locke Lamora.
Redshirts_Coverthe-lies-of-locke-lamora-US

Tomorrow I have about 2 hours of French homework due before work. If I stay focused I should have time left over, in which I will start my next short story for Caladria. It’s been bubbling around in my brain for the last couple of days, and I think it’s just about ready to get going. My previous story, Sparks Fly, has been back-burnered until we hash out some of the details. It’s a fairly pivotal story for the history of the world, so we have to be careful in how we handle things.

Then Tuesday is a two-fer day. In which I work both jobs. But, I’m off Wednesday! I’m going to get so much homework done, and hopefully so much writing! Maybe even a little Dragon Age? Who knows!

Anyway, I wanted to stop in and reassure everyone that I’m here, that I’m still reading and writing. That, if I can keep this up, nothing’s going to stop me from publishing.
fear and loathing
So, maybe I’ll see you all on Wednesday. With any luck I’ll have a book review for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ready to rock. Please. Wish me luck.

BZ

Where is My Coffee?

My brain is taking forever to warm up this morning. It’s the lack of coffee. Oh, the days when I did homework and wrote blogs from the Starbucks lobby. There was always coffee. Now my house is cold, and there’s no coffee. Damn.

It’s unfortunate that today would be my slow brain day. I have approximately 4 hours of french homework to get done in the next 5 hours.

But, I did continue editing conversations with my Caladria author this morning. I also committed to another short story for them. Keep in mind that I’m still working on one, which I’m excited to delve into this week. And now have another in the pipeline.

I’ve gone mad.

But, on the bright side, this is my last week working 60 hours! Starting March 30th, I’ll  be down to about 48 hours, which was such a relief I nearly cried in the back room. Because I’m exhausted. And I feel trapped. I feel like there’s all these awesome things I want to be a part of, but can’t complete any of them to my standards.

I have my fingers in far too many pies.

Speaking of things I’m involved with, this is a friendly reminder to visit Caladria! Two issues of Fab Fables are out now, plus a free series to help you get the most out of our website, and a sample story. if you’re into High Fantasy, you’ve got to check us out!
FabFables2

Also, if you’re into writing High Fantasy, Caladria is always looking for new authors. Let me know if you’re interested, and I can help you out.

There’s a wall clock right behind me, and it’s ticking so loud that I can’t help but think about all the work I have today. So, this is it for today. I’ll see you all Wednesday!

BZ

Break Time is Over!

If you haven’t noticed my week and half long silence, well, that makes me sad…

But, I’m back! School started back up today, which brings me face to face with my laptop again. A part of me felt really guilty, ignoring everything for a week and a half, but the rest of me knew I had to take the time for myself. Because the next month and a half is an uphill slog.

School full time. Working 60hr work weeks for the foreseeable future. Still writing and editing for Caladria, which if you haven’t checked out Fab Fables 2, you’re just wrong. Book club is moving ahead, and I’ve got to finish reading Sunrunner’s Fire so I can burn through Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas before the 1st.

Which has me at my busiest. And I definitely hit panic mode when I jolted awake at four this morning, for no other reason than a looming concern of scheduling issues. But, everything worked itself out, and though I’m going to be exhausted, and have absolutely ZERO social life, I know I can do this.

I should be back to posting fairly regularly, though it might take some ramp up time, since I’m still working 40hrs at Starbucks, plus the 22 at the library.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’m back. Wish me luck with the next 8 weeks or so, because it’s gonna be a trip.

See you soon blogland!

BZ