A Perfect Weekend Read!

I got so busy with all the rebranding and writing on my plate that I forgot about a  Kindle Countdown deal I had scheduled awhile back. Yes, Loving Ashe, Book 1 of the Celebrity Series, is on sale for 99 pennies for the next few days!

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | AMAZON CA

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So if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, now’s the time to get it.  You can read one of my favorite excerpts on the next page.

NaNoWriMo Files: Day 1

NaNo-2015-Participant-Banner

Well, it’s November 1st, and that means that NaNoWriMo has officially started. For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is a monthlong write-fest for people like me to write 50k words in 30 days.  It sounds crazy, but the whole point is to get the story down on paper. Don’t edit, don’t stop.  Just keep on going till you get to 50K and even higher.

It also stands for National Novel Writing Month and here’s the official information from their website:

National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (formerly known as the Office of Letters and Light) that believes your story matters.

Through all our programs, we work to empower and encourage writing and vibrant creativity around the world:

  • The Young Writers Program promotes writing fluency, creative education, and the sheer joy of novel-writing in K-12 classrooms. We provide free classroom kits, writing workbooks, Common Core-aligned curricula, and virtual class management tools to more than 2,000 educators from Dubai to Boston.
  • The Come Write In program provides free resources to libraries, community centers, and local bookstores to build writing havens in your neighborhood.
  • Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writing retreat, designed to provide the community, resources, and tools needed to complete any writing prompt, novel or not.

I’ve always been an advocate for literacy so this ticked all my buttons when I first heard about it three years ago. I totally failed the first year, churning out 16K words after ten years of not writing.  But the bug hit me then, because the following year, when Camp NaNoWriMo came along, I churned out 90K words of a novel whose character of Greg became the basis for Erik Maystrom in Finding Sam a year later.

That was a major accomplishment for me and I realized that even after churning out 140K words of fan fiction, I could also write just about as many words, even more, of original fiction.

For last year’s NaNoWriMo, I wrote Loving Ashe, and by the time I was done, I had 110K words done in a month and a half.  Then off to the editor followed by 8 months of percolating till I hit the publish button in August of this year.

This year, I’m rewriting the second book of the Loving Ashe Trilogy, Loving Riley, for my NaNoWriMo project.  With everything from the beginning to the clunky ending, the poor baby needs a major overhaul so instead of jumping into a whole new story, this month is devoted to Ashe and Riley (well, maybe Collateral‘s Heath and Billie, too, which is in editing phase) so I can get them through that awkward growing phase in any relationship.  It’s also Ashe’s story, which turned out to be more stressful to me as a writer because I had to rake my poor muse through the coals in this one.

If you’d like to see my rewriting progress, check out my Loving Riley page here and if you’d like to be updated of the latest chapters, opt in with your email address as well.  I think Leanpub has an option to integrate Mailchimp, which is an email software, but I’ve yet to even figure out my Mailchimp return address (oh the joys of having your own massage practice yet needing to get a PO box for your writing career).

Leanpub, which is where I’ll be hosting Loving Riley as I rewrite it, is an awesome platform for serialized fiction, with variable pay ranges for readers to choose, even more than the suggested retail price.  You see exactly how much my royalty will be, and because I’m choosing NaNoWriMo as the cause that I’m supporting, you’ll see just how much of my net proceeds will go to them.

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I wrote about Leanpub last year but need to do a new one since they’ve done some major changes to their site, making it easier for writers to now upload finished work instead of having to write in markdown language.  While I already do write in markdown language, majority of people I know don’t.

It’s primarily populated by technical books and while it intimidated me last year, I realized how serialized books in technology works so well because coding wins and fails depends on open communication between readers/testers.  But its founder has always maintained that it’s a platform for fiction writers, too, and I was really impressed already with its output epub, mobi and pdf output.  This year, with its latest updates in the interface, I’m giving it another try with my novels. I also like that you can automatically allot a portion of your royalties to a cause you choose.

Alright, for Day 1 of NaNoWriMo, I sure am chatty, aren’t I?  Oh well, hope I didn’t bore you too much and I really need to get started with the rewriting.

What about you?  Are you dong NaNoWriMo this year?

Via Liz Madrid http://lizmadrid.com/2015/11/01/nanowrimo-files-day-1/

A Poetic Cover Reveal

No, I did not fall off the face of the earth
though I did disappear for awhile
if only to dot every i and cross every t
for there’s a book I was getting ready to let fly

It took some time to get things right
And I still don’t do things in their right order
but if you’d like to find out what’s kept me busy of late,
here’s my book – with its brand new cover!


Kidding aside, I just officially gave my book a whole new look via a brand new cover, and I couldn’t be happier.  There have been so many lessons learned in this journey called self-publishing – and I’m still learning – on how to release a book properly.  In fact, writing is the easiest part – and I mean it – E-A-S-I-E-S-T.

I’m not saying I’m a genius wordsmith but when it comes to making sure that your story is seen and read (i.e. purchased), there’s so much to do, and even then, with so many people telling you of many more things to do, the work of promoting your work is never done. It also takes away from more writing.

But the end result is still there – a book with my name on it – a sweet chick-lit with romance and a bit of mystery to keep you occupied for a few hours.

You can preview the first few chapters and purchase Loving Ashe here, and if you’re a book blogger and are interested in reviewing Loving Ashe, please drop me a line.

Tootin’ My Horn A Bit

I need to toot my horn a bit so please do indulge me. I just published my NaNoWriMo novel, Loving Ashe, a few weeks ago and wouldn’t you know it?  I’ve neglected to make even an announcement on my main blog!

[begin self-promotion]

So here I am doing just that and hope that you will mosey on over to Loving Ashe’s landing page to read a few sample chapters and even purchase a copy.

The paperback is still in the works but the ebook is available right now.

Loving Ashe - High Resolution

For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it’s stands for National Novel Writing Month which falls every November. It benefits literacy programs throughout the country and it’s a challenge (to write 50K words in 30 days) I’ve undertaken three years in a row now.  I failed that first year but it planted the seed, which was all I needed.

Loving Ashe started as a short story challenge on this blog two years ago and I expanded it into a novel, which I serialized live on Wattpad on November 2014.  Sour Patch Kids (that sour and sweet candy) included it in their list of featured stories this February during their #sourthensweet contest which definitely didn’t hurt boosting its reading numbers, which now is at 1.5 million reads.

So if you like to read an unconventional romance novel with a little twist, do give Loving Ashe a read!

And from today till July 7, 2015, you can purchase Loving Ashe at 50% off on Smashwords (epub version only) using code: WG32X

[end of self-promotion]

Whew! Hope that wasn’t too painful for you to read, and thanks for reading this far 🙂

Redhead

  
I’ve been busy writing lately, fielding unhappy readers’ reactions to my latest chapters.  Some readers cried and many were left upset and for a few hours I had no idea whether it was a good thing or not.

Anyway although I told myself I wasn’t going to draw anyone for awhile, sometimes you just can’t stop art from happening, 

Muse

Well, he was bound to make an appearance within the pages of my art journal, though I didn’t get him quite right.  Still, it’s nice to get that out of my system, especially since he was the one who got me writing again, after a ten year hiatus.  Why the hiatus?  Well, life happened.  I was miserable though I didn’t know why – till I started writing again, and the house hasn’t been tidy since.

So if you don’t recognize him (it’s hard because I drew the eyes too large), it’s Richard Armitage, from one of his first selfies on Twitter last year.  I should have picked a better picture, but it is what it is.

Today also marks the day that someone on Wattpad was brave enough to tell me what was not quite right with my novel in progress, Loving Ashe.  I basically took the cowardly way out with the ending.  Instead of writing the ending I really wanted, which was quite like “killing” my darling protagonist, I made everything just right and perfect.  No whoa! you didn’t! factor definitely.  And I’m glad she pointed it out because it’s been bugging me all this time – why I took an otherwise perfect novel and gave it such a blah ending when I already had three chapters of that finale done and dusted.

But at least it’s still a work in progress though. It just means maybe this time, I’m writing the ending as it was meant to be.  And wouldn’t you know it?  That novel started out as a Daily Prompt writing challenge right here on my blog exactly two years ago – with Richard Armitage in mind, no less!

Loving Ashe Reaches 1 Million Reads

Yup, you read right!  My NaNoWriMo novel, Loving Ashe, serialized on Wattpad and will be published in May, reached 1 million reads on Wattpad 2 days ago.  The first chapter was posted on November 1, 2014 and as of April 7, 2015, it reached 1 Million reads.

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You’re probably wondering, “What the hell is a read?” Well, every time someone clicks on a chapter on your story, it’s registered as a “read” though it doesn’t count visits from the same ISP – like one person refreshing the page again and again to increase the read count – unless you’re on a mobile phone and moving, thus the ISP will change wherever you go. So if you’ve got 35 chapters, then that’s 35 “reads” per person.

It’s interesting though – I used to think that 1 million reads was amazing awesome, top of the mountain awesome – but when  you learn that other writers on there have 13, 25, 70  million reads, heck, even 1 billion reads, 1 million doesn’t sound so amazing after all.  But that’s alright.  I’ll take it.

Now, if only those reads translate into revenue so I can quit my day job, then we’re really talking.

Happy Dance

I know this is my poetry and daily prompt blog but can I just say how happy I am to find out that my #NaNoWriMo novel Loving Ashe is #2 under Chicklit on Wattpad?!

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Though I completed 50K words in November, with the current novel at 66K words, I’m in Act III – which is actually quite hard to get right! But I’m keeping my fingers crossed I will, and #amwriting

Loving Ashe is Getting Some Love – 10K Reads!

So my #NaNoWriMo and #JustWriteIt effort, Loving Ashe, which is currently being serialized on Wattpad, is getting some love from Wattpad readers.  It just hit 10K reads today and I’m pretty happy!

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I don’t know what’s going to happen next.  At 54K words, I’m trying to get the story to wind down and get to the The End part by 11/30.

Because technically, that’s finishing a novel, right?  It’s just not reaching a word count?