Monday, November 24, 2014

That's A Wrap...Almost

So it's the last week of NaNoWriMo, and I still have a long way to go.  For those of you who don't know NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month.  I've never participated before, but having a self-imposed (or nationally imposed in this case) deadline can actually help the creative juices flow. I just guess I like to be on a really tight deadline.  One month is not enough, let's try to write 50,000 words in ten days.

The thing is, I've probably written more than 50,000 words this month, between blogging, re-writing my other novel, and then starting my new novel.  I'm at 25,000 words in the new novel, and I can't relate the topic on this site because it's R rated, or maybe even NC-17, okay, definitely NC-17.

I've also found during the writing process, I like to listen to the same song over and over again.  The song of choice depends on my mood, but for my current project about two couples who become entangled in a web of lies and deceit that song is Hurt by Nine Inch Nails.  Yes, I know a lot of you who actually know me are laughing now, because I'm so not a NIN fan, but there is just something about this song.  I love the Johnny Cash version of the song too. Plus, the words relate to what's going on in my novel.  I wonder if any other authors listen to songs on repeat, or am I just crazy?  Regardless, I can't get enough of this song right now, and I wonder if the angst of the lead singer is coming out in my novel. I sure hope so!

Enough of that. I'm releasing Chapter 4 of The Devil Within on Wattpad tonight.  If you haven't read it, then click on the link above to offer me your support.  Wattpad allows writers to publish their work in pieces for others to read free.  It's a great way to support fledgling authors, and for me I'm using it to, *hopefully*, build up an audience so when I release my e-book I at least have a few buyers.  You can sign-up for Wattpad, favorite and comment.  If you see any grammatical errors, please let me know. The Devil Within has not been edited by a professional, and I'm editing it as I go, but I don't always catch every little mistake.  Plus, it's a rough draft, so there will definitely be mistakes out there.

I feel like this week, I've really made writing a priority. I still find it a struggle to balance everything: life, kids, work, writing, and exercising.  When I'm writing I get so caught up in the world I've created that other things start to slide in level of importance, and I tend to feel guilty.  Last night, I made it a point to lay in bed with the kids and talk to them about their weekend.  I asked them what they were excited about in this upcoming week, and we had a nice chat.  I need to find the balance to be able to write every day without feeling like I need to sprint, so I have more quality time with the kids on the weekend when we're all home together.  I know this is something every author struggles with, especially at the beginning when you're having to, not only write, but market yourself and make a name for yourself so you can stand out from the millions of other aspiring artists.  I'll get there one day.

Until then...Dream Big!

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Friday, November 21, 2014

The Devil Within

I published my second chapter of "The Devil Within" on Wattpad last night.  You may have missed it, because I published it around 7:30 PM.  Apparently the ideal time to publish items anywhere is closer to 10 PM.  I am not awake at 10 PM--hardly ever. I need to start making more use of my "schedule" button to keep up with all this social media!

I went out to Fiverr and Kelvin Tang made me this fantastic cover. Click below, and it will take you to Wattpad to read my story.

I didn't even know Fiverr existed, until Suzie Jay told me about the site.  She's another author trying to find a following, get discovered, whatever you want to call it (her blog is in my reading list below--check it out!).  I've found out this week that there are tons of us. I've been on twitter trying to promote myself, and there are tons of struggling wannabe authors.  It's no wonder the publishing houses are overwhelmed trying to pick through the slush piles.

I debated putting "The Devil Within" out there for anyone to read.  It's a hard read, psychologically, and I don't know how many people will like it because of that. The thing is, as an author, when I have an idea it just sort of flows from me.  The thoughts come quickly, and I have to get them down on paper.  The story sticks in your mind, and I almost become part of the virtual world I've created,  like I can feel and touch your characters.  I wrote the "Devil Within" in just a few days, because every time I would leave the book I would think about William, the main character, and how much he was hurting.  I couldn't leave him in anguish in one scene for long.  I had to come back and rescue him--with the stroke of a key!

That's what writing's like for me. There's a story, and I have to write it down.  Maybe that's why I have so many half finished stories.  The ideas come more quickly than I can finish them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Writing Routine

I don't have writer's block.  I never have.  I usually have too much to write about, so I start and stop. I write 20,000 words, then I scrap it and move onto the next project.  I've done this my whole life.  I'm currently editing and rewriting sections of "No Turning Back," before I self-publish it on Amazon.  I worked on rewriting two sections this weekend, but I always need a little bit of a break before I go back to read it and work on grammar, realistic dialogue, etc.  So, I decided in the interim I would work on one of my other stories in progress.

I had about three to pick from, and I picked one I had been working on which I think has a great beginning, middle, and end but may be slightly inappropriate.  It's a psychological thriller.  I don't know how to pick one genre and stick with it.  I'm all over the board!  I started writing, but the more I thought about it the more I felt like I didn't want to work on that particular story.  I seriously could sit down and finish it if I wanted to, but I can't submit it to Wattpad for a general read because of some of the less than saintly aspects of the book.  It's more of a work that needs to be self-published (or actually published by a publishing house if I could ever make it that far)!

So, instead I decided to work on a new novel. It's more women's fiction, but may lean towards romance. GASP!  That's so not me.  But it will probably get a load of follows on Wattpad, and right now I'm all about trying to build an audience for my writing-to-be.  It just takes a lot of work, and I feel like it's all I'm able to do. It's giving me less time to do what I actual want to do: write.  When you have three kids, a job, 5,000 activities, and you try to stay in shape your writing time is limited anyway.  It makes me wonder how anyone makes it.  Oh, and unfortunately, I'm not one of those insomniac writers. I'm one of those people who thrive on routine.  I wake up promptly at 5:15 every day, and I have to be in bed by 10 PM (usually before).  I thrive and feel the best on this routine, but I do wish I had more time to write.  I'm always counting the minutes in the morning, trying to figure out how much time I have before a child comes downstairs, or before I have to start the crockpot so we can actually eat at night.  Always too much to do.  But, I wouldn't give up any of it.  When you love to write, you fit it in where you can, and you find you are always coming up with ideas for new books.

I find my inspiration, mostly from dreams, random thoughts, other people's conversations: you name it!  It just comes to me, and then I feel this urge to write.  I hope that urge never goes away.

Follow me on Twitter @laurenegreene
Read "The Devil Within" on Wattpad: @LaurenGreene4.  Currently the 1st Chapter is up, and the 2nd Chapter will be released tomorrow, 11/19/14!!!
Check out my Facebook Writer's Page:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

To Pen or Not to Pen?

I had a productive week.  I did my first beta read for another aspiring author, and I found I really enjoyed the process of reading someone else's work and sharing my input. I do worry about hurting feelings, as I've always had a hard time with criticism, but at some point you do have to move on from that, and learn how to accept constructive criticism.  Otherwise, you'll never get better as a writer or fill in the blank____________, whatever you want to achieve.

Now that I'm done beta reading, I'm turning my attention back to my work.  I received input from two betas on my work, and they both liked it! YAY!  They had suggestions, and so I'm going to work on rewriting the first couple of chapters, working on a few minor errors, and then I'm going to send it out for more beta readers.  My goal is to publish it, even if it is self publishing, by the end of 2014 or early 2015.

Speaking of that: Follow Me!  I'm on twitter: @laurenegreene, and I'm going to start actually taking advantage of my twitter account, my Google+ accounts, and my Facebook accounts and using them as a way to market my material.  Since, I'm going to self publish I will need to market myself.  I still don't get twitter.  Does anyone understand this?  I'm going to have to have my teenage nieces and nephews show me what you do, and what the hashtags are for.  Apparently, I'm not with the times, but I know you need social media to market yourself as a writer in this world.  Technology is such a huge part of life these days: there's no use fighting it!

Speaking of writing: pen name or no?  I'm debating staying with my regular name, or going to my pen name Ellie Greene.  I have a writer's page for my pen name, but my twitter account is my name. I like Ellie Greene, because it's a play on my name, but I like my name too,'s my name!

Who would have thought there are so many details when you're trying to get published?  I have been out to Amazon and read several books on there, and there are people who have not even edited their material. I can't imagine that, because I've been working on my book for two years. I feel like I have poured so much of myself into this project. In an ideal world, one of my queries would land me a real life publishing package, and I wouldn't have to self-publish, market myself, and try to add more hours to a day that I know is only going to last 24!  In an ideal world, I'd also immediately land a movie deal and instantly be a millionaire.  One can dream, right?

But it feels good to live your dreams.  It feels good when I write.  Even if no one is going to read it, and even if it's a huge flop, it's what I love to do and that makes all the work worth it.  I would love to get to the point where my work does well.  I'd love to self-publish one book after another and make my living through the written words.  In the meantime, I'll take doing it part time.  I'll use my hour in the morning to edit my work, to blog, and to research how to become a successful writer.  I'll use my hour at night to read, so I can get better and better at the art of writing.  And maybe one day, I'll make a name for myself.  Until then, I'll be content with what I have and with the simple fact that I can write when I want to and do what I love, and no one can take that away from me.

*Follow me on twitter @laurenegreene and like my Facebook page: -- Have your friends and family follow me too!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Two Whole Hands

This week, Number One turned two whole hands!

A few years ago, okay, FIVE years ago, he was so excited to be turning, "one whole hand!"  I remember telling a co-worker, and we laughed and laughed about here, and here we are, and he's already ten.  It's hard to believe.  He's grown so much into himself, and so many of the issues of the previous years are resolving themselves as he gets older, which is a blessing to us in so many ways.

Excuse Number One's face!  He had just finished his Veteran's Day performance, and he was tired of standing.

As a parent, it's hard to express how much you love your children.  To the moon and back is never far enough.  Parenting is one of the most frustrating, heartbreaking jobs, but it's amazing to see your children grow and develop, and it is so rewarding when you see them achieving their dreams.

Speaking of dreams, I'm back to working on mine.  I pulled up my novel, previously Semi-Detached, now named No Turning Back, and I requested beta readers through Goodreads.  I received feedback from two people, and they both liked the story.  They gave me pointers on some things I can change to make it better, and mostly I agree with what they said.  It was nice to have unbiased feedback, and positive feedback from people I don't know!  It makes me feel like maybe I can actually get somewhere as a writer, if I keep putting the effort and the time into it. I just wish there were about seven more hours in the day.  There never seems to be enough time.  

In other news, the gods of unfairness are playing against me when it comes to my alopecia areata. About a month ago, I noticed I have a few strands of eyebrow hair.  They are still there: I can feel them.  Well maybe a week go, my underarms started itching, and I noticed today I'm growing a little underarm hair.  Um--can someone just transfer that to my head?  Who wants underarm hair, really?  I said in my mind what my Mom said to me, and what every one's parents said to them in a little cliche voice, "Life is not fair."  I wished for hair, and it popped up in a place where I'm going to shave it off.  Maybe I'll just let it grow long, and move to a commune or something.  Or I could be in the circus, "The Bald Woman with Underarm Hair Down to Her Toes."  Great fodder for a novel.

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