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Thursday, January 26, 2017

16 best of 2016

I should be working on the next story in the Legends of Carpatia series, but I've put this on the back burner for way too long. Usually I do a little recap of the year in December or January. Seeing as January is almost over, I better get on with it before its 2018!

So here we go:

1. 1st Tattoo. Yup, I joined the tribe of the marked. Finally. It only took me 17 years to get it done.
2.  Meeting his holy hotness, John Barrowman, aka Captain Jack Harkness at Wizard Con.

3. Epic beach trips throughout the year with my family.
4. My first community garden.
5. Lots of hiking with my girl.

6. Seeing Peter Gabriel and Sting perform together in Seattle, but when Eddie Vedder came out show went to another dimension in terms of epicness. Best date night!
7. GRADUATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8. Relaxing vacation in California at grandparent's place, visiting family, and meeting my new niece.
9. Philly trip. Standing in Independence Hall and seeing the original Declaration of Independence brought tears to my eyes.
10. Meeting my fave goddess authors at I Can Do It! Philadelphia: Dr. Christiane Northrup, Kris Carr, and Cheryl Richardson.


11. Professional Author Head shots!
12.Watching my girl transform into a gymnast.
13. Getting Rainbow hair.

14. Taking my girl to the Nutcracker.
15. Taking my girl sledding on Mt. Hood for the first time.

16. And publishing my first work of fiction. You can buy here.
2016 was a damn good year!

Cheers,
Melania

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Little Magic Coming Your Way

Hello!

It's been so long since I've blogged here I feel I have to reintroduce myself. Alas, I have only a few minutes before I need get my daughter to bed, finish some photo projects, create a holiday card, and get a few words written for current WIP. However in a nutshell:

2013 I had a baby, postpartum depression kicked my butt and scared away my fiction muse, 2014 I published my PPD journey, 2015 I published a mini pregnancy guide, I also blogged for Portland Moms Blog from March 2015 until now, August 2016 I graduated with a BS degree in Healthcare, and in October my fiction muse returned spawning a series of short stories, which leads me to this blog post.

I am equal parts excited and terrified to announce that December 21 (ish), 2016 I will be publishing my first fiction piece, Yule's Eve. This, my friends, is the first story of four that will be published in the next year! Oh, and the first story in my vampire world I created years ago, back when I first started this blog. Yes, you read correctly. It's a vampire story! Not the vampire story, but a prequel to the first novel to come out next fall.

Would you like to see the cover?

Of course, you do!

Here you go and I would like to thank Delle Jacobs for creating this gorgeous cover.


Stayed tune!

Love,
Melania

Monday, April 20, 2015

5 Reasons Why I Hate Being a Writer

I used to love being a writer. And well, I still do for the most part, except for being a writer has become the biggest pain in the ass of my life. How so? You ask.
Hmm, where do I begin...

1. The the heartless muse waking me up at all hours of the night, especially when I've been sleep deprived and in great NEED to sleep. This didn't really bother me before baby (BB), but now it only fuels the unrelenting insanity. BB, I could get up write my new brilliant idea, plot point, dialogue, scene, whatever and go right back to bed or take a nap when I got home from work later that day. Now? The moment I go back to sleep someone decides to wake up and want some water, a hug, or go potty. Nap after work is a relic of antiquity these days.

2. The never-ending compulsion to write. It's in my blood and ingrained in my DNA. I. CANNOT. NOT. WRITE. I've tried and about lost my mind. It doesn't care that I'm a sleep-deprived mother who works 40-hours a week at a day job, has a family to care for, and maybe a life outside of the sparkly world in my head. No, the compulsion has no sympathy nor a single gram of courtesy for my mental health. NOPE.

3. The stories keep coming. As I try to finish (prepare for publishing) a story, twenty more come flooding in to distract me from completing the current project. Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay on track when you have a busy toddler, a family, a career, and two dozen other characters wanting their story to be told? Thank the medicine gods for Zoloft. And Ambien. And wine- my best friend.

4. There is never enough time. Because of reasons 1-3, I never seem to find enough time to satisfy all the musings of my hyperactive brain. Never enough time to spend with family and friends while maintaining a decent prolific rate. The writing monster wants ALL of my time and finding a balance has proven to be harder than flying a kite to the moon. Can't keep up...

5. Living on the borderline of nut-jobbery. All though some of my friends and family may think I have crossed the line into la-la land long ago, trying to maintain a socially acceptable appearance of sanity is not one of my strengths. When I attended my very first writer conference I saw a quote on the wall that said something like this "Writing is a socially-acceptable form of schizophrenia." BB, I laughed. Now I see whoever wrote that wasn't kidding. Writers live in their own universe(s). Period.

Writing creates all kinds of madness and chaos in the writer's life, but it also opens worlds, sagas, mysteries, romances, adventures, and yes, universes that those who are not writers (and have sane lives) can only dream of experiencing. All that happening in one single brain at 2 o'clock in the morning, right before offspring decides to upchuck all the gastric contents from dinner the previous day.

Sigh.

Onward.

xoxo,
Mel

Sunday, February 8, 2015

5 ways motherhood has changed my writing

Happy February everyone!

The last month has been a whirlwind of writing, something that hasn't happened in a very long time. It feels great being in the zone and making progress. In the last 30 days, I've revised and finished first round of edits on Urban Goddess Mama-to-Be (coming out spring 2015), revised 40/180 pages and added 3K new words to Temple of the Moon (coming out summer 2015, stay tuned more to come).

Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound like a lot, but it is for me. And here's why. Motherhood is a time suck. It takes up every ounce of energy that I have, leaving very little to nothing for anything else. I've already blogged about my struggles since becoming a mom here. On top of that I work 40 hours a week at a very mentally demanding job. But since last August, I have been slowly getting my mojo back and it feels great, but my writing process has changed a lot since I started this blog years ago.

1. My Speed. Before Baby (BB), I used to be able to crank out 3-5K works a day, sometimes in one evening. Now if I get 300-500 words done in one day, I consider it a very successful day. I spent the last two years berating myself for this, but over the last few months, I've realized that my slower speed is perfectly okay. At least I'm making progress. Sure, it might take me months to complete a short novel, but I'm okay with that.

2. Writing Time. BB, I used to write in the evening. As soon as the sun went down, all the muses came out to play. Now when it gets dark outside, I'm counting down the minutes when I get to go to bed. I don't have a specific writing time anymore. I have to do it when I have a free moment and that can happen at all hours of the day or night. Most of the time I get any writing done is during the day on the weekend when my husband is home to watch the Boo Creature.

3. Writing Environment. BB, I did most of my writing at home, or on my hour-long public transportation commute each way from work. Now, I do most of my writing at Panera Bread or anywhere outside my home because when I'm home there are way too many distractions. Suddenly the pile of laundry looks more appealing than hashing out a plot and the desire to clean the toilet (my least favorite chore) grows greater than writing the next chapter. Besides my blogging and nonfiction work, everything else takes place outside my home. No complaints here, since I work from home for day job, it's nice to get out and see what the outside world looks like.

4. Motivation. BB, when I'd reach a wall in a WIP, I'd stop and go write something else and when I'd try to edit/revise a completed manuscript, I'd get about 20-50 pages in and stop because I thought the story was crap. Much of that hasn't changed, but now I have this weird motivation I didn't have before. While my gut reaction is to stop and write something else, I wait a couple of hours or days and pick up where I left off. There is a new determination I've never had before to get my fiction out there. One look at my daughter and I know I must do the icky work of editing and revising to get my novel publishing ready.

5. Pantster to Plotster. BB, pantster all the way. Then came prego-brain followed by postpartum brain and I couldn't remember shit. Now I do a little plotting. Not too much, because then I'll loose interest in the story, but enough so I know where I'm going. Michael Hauge's 5 Turning Points has been most helpful.

I'm getting there, folk, I'm getting here. Thanks for stopping by and more to come on Temple of the Moon

xoxo,
Melania




Friday, January 16, 2015

My favortie books of 2014

Normally I do this post at the end of the year, but the holidays, toddler, etc... Any who, here's the books I really enjoyed last year:

5. When We Touch Brenda Novak


4. When Lighting Strikes Brenda Novak


3. Marine for Hire Tawna Fenske


2. The Invisible Girls: A Memoir Sarah Thebarge


1. Down Came the Rain Brook Shields


As you can see my top two books were nonfiction and I don't have any paranormal on this list. I did read some paranormal, but didn't really enjoy the books as much as I normally do. Since I've had my daughter, I tend to gravitate to more heart-warming or romantic comedy. I listed Down Came the Rain as #1 because that book really helped me understand the postpartum depression I experienced the last couple of years. However December I started reading the Lord of Rings trilogy. It's a slow read, but I'm really enjoying every page. Tolkien was a freaking genius. I could live in middle earth forever and totally get the whole Tolkienite culture.
So what were your top five?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Goodbye 2014

I can't believe another year has gone by. Which means it's time for 14 Best of 2014. And boy, there it was hard to choose because 2014 was one of the best years of my life. Here we go:

1. First writer's retreat in the spring. So good to be surrounded by creative people and get some quality writing done after almost two years of drought.


2. Achieving my dream of publishing.


3. Writing my very first article that appeared on Rebelle Society.

4. Flying to California for the first time with Boo Creature to visit family. We had a BLAST.


5. Summer trips to the beach.


6. 1st camping trip with Boo Creature.


7. Trips to the cabin.


8. Trips to the zoo.



9. Trips to the park. Many trips.



10. Going on my 1st company paid business trip. I got so much writing done on the train ride and in the evenings in my room. So nice to have some much needed me-time.




11. Trips to the pumpkin patch.




 


 12. Halloween 2014.



13. Seeing Fleetwood Mac and Lindsey Stirling.



14. Seeing my book on the shelf in a my favorite bookstore.






As you can see it's been a great year and the highlights of the last twelve months have been my daughter and book. After fighting postpartum depression most of 2013, it felt wonderful to fully enjoy motherhood. Thanks for riding with me. And Happy 2015.