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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.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Thank you

I'm just popping in to wish you all a wonderful fall and say THANK YOU. My little blog that I started five years ago has surpassed 20,000 views. You guys rock and thank you for reading my ramblings about motherhood, publishing world, and books. You sure know how to make a simple girl from Romania feel like a cyberspace princess.

Now I must jump back into my writing cave. Blowing kisses your way.

Love, Mel


Monday, September 15, 2014

The Return of the Prodigal Mojo

Dear Readers,

Going to keep this short and sweet. Almost two and a half years ago I found out I was pregnant. At first this discovery brought joy and excitement, but then came the pregnancy-brain which zapped my creative mojo with a death ray and what was left received repeated attacks from my postpartum-brain. The sadness that followed broke my spirit. Writing is my life. It's what keeps me sane. But I didn't stop even if the only thing I could write about was the crippling depression that took over every aspect of my life for over a year. (#1 reason I haven't blogged much since baby arrived.)

I tried working on completed works to prepare them for submission, but hit a solid, concrete, steel-piling-reinforced wall within a day or two each time. Then I tried to write new stories and hit the same damn wall. Even short stories and novellas wouldn't come out no matter what I tried. The maddening part, my muse never left. No, she kept whispering little magical nothings like a fairy farting glitter rainbows into the night ruining so many precious hours of sleep. Bitch.

Despite everything, I published my first book- the story of my journey through postpartum depression. Then this summer I worked on a prequel, which is due out this November. But the last week of August, I went on vacation to the family cabin and I let myself start a brand new story that had been simmering in the back of my mind for about a month.

Today, more than 20 days later, I'm still working on the same story. Only at about 11,500 words in. My goal is  20K but the way it's going the story will probably be 40K words. Almost every single day I've chipped away at the plot. This is the most dedicated I've been to a story and every time I sit down to write whether it's for twenty minutes or two hours, the words flow. Even if I don't feel like writing, the words flow.

I'm writing fiction again, folks. My mojo is back! This is HUGE!!!!!!!!!! I am so thrilled because I thought my story-telling days were over. Right now I'm so happy, I think I'll go have some chocolate.

Thanks for sticking with me, dearest readers. Your support has been priceless. More to come soon.

xoxo,
Melania

Monday, July 21, 2014

Holy Freaking July and Self-Publishing Madness.

Hey kids,

How are ya? Remember me, the ambitious writer who used to blog about books, the illusive art of novel creation, and the meaning of life? Yeah, well, she's still writing, but on other topics like breastfeeding, pregnancy, postpartum depression, doulas, birthing plans and all kinds of fantastic stuff people called mothers find interesting.

Last May my debut book came out Urban Goddess Mama on Kindle. Trying to get it out in print and other e-book formats has been a challenge. Mainly because I don't have the time to fiddle around with the formats and get the documents to pass the editing checks, but I'm working on getting them out there.

At the end of UGM I make a little announcement that Urban Goddess Mama-to-Be will be coming out November 2014. At the time I developed a timeline to keep me on schedule. That's what you do when you are self-publishing. In June I would start the book, have the bare bones down by the end of my writer's retreat that month, and have the rough draft ready for my beta readers by the end of July. The book is only going to be 20-25K. Easy-peasy, right?

This week I glanced at the calender and had a minor MAJOR freakout. July is more than half over and my current word count is only at 6K. Yeah. Yikes. So with that, I wave to you all and hope to come back in August with some sweet book reviews and more writing updates.

Ta-ta for now,
Melania

PS. BTW, I'm itching to get back into the world of fiction... More to come on that.

PSS. AND I'll also leave you with this adorable picture of my little lady at 18 months old.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It's May!

Oh my goodness, where does the time go? I swear ever since I got knocked up and had a baby, I've lived in a weird time vortex where one day it's Friday of one week and the next Saturday two months later. In all this madness, I have some great news to tell you.

I've waited to say this news for so long. Those of you who have followed my journey from the beginning, know how hard I've worked at writing and becoming a published author. After almost four years since starting down the path to authorship, I will be publishing my first book and it's not a novel.

Never in my wildest dreams had I ever thought I'd write nonfiction, but then last year I experienced the hardest, most traumatic year of my life after I gave birth to my daughter. Some of you might remember me mentioning postpartum depression in previous posts. For an entire year, I couldn't write any fiction, so I journaled instead. I needed an outlet and writing my day to day experiences helped me heal.

Postpartum depression is real shit, folks, and many women suffer from it. More than I realized until PPD kicked my ass. After living for months in shame, I said no more. I weeded through my random thoughts and compiled them into a story- my story.

I've kept most of the book progress on my other blog, but I thought I'd share the news here too because May 21, 2014 my debut book Urban Goddess Mama will be available on Amazon. Check out the amazing cover here.

And read the first chapter by going to this link:

https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1148123

Though the last year has been extremely hard, I have so much to be thankful. PPD stripped me to the bone and then crushed what was left to a pulp. Through the darkness of despair, I found my way back into the light. From the dust, I pieced my life back together one speck at a time. PPD helped me get rid of so much bullshit in my life. I love the person I am today more than who I was before PPD. And I have this little girl to thank. She is the light of my world. I'm so honered to be her mother. Speaking of which, Happy Mother's Day!
Photo by Amy Campbell

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Cowboy and the Vampire Series Cover Revamp!

Hi ya'll,

As promised, I have a special treat today. Two of the biggest benefits of being a writer and blogger are the opportunities to do cover reveals and read ARCs of soon to be released books. In preparation for the third installment of their fantastic vampire series, Kathleen McFall and Clark Hays have given me the wonderful privilege to share with you the TWO new covers for the previous books. But first a little background. Go here and here to see the orginal covers for book one and two.

The phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is a lie. It’s a damn lie. People do it all the time. Art is truth.

To mark the upcoming May 2014 release of the third book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection, the series was treated to a gothic western makeover, with artwork commissioned exclusively for the series.

“We wanted to give readers something special and the new covers get right to the heart of the series,” said co-author Hays. “Go on and judge the books by these covers! They bring together the paranormal and the western elements perfectly, setting a dark tone with just a hint of the humor.”

“Each time you look at the images, you see something a bit different, even more of the opposites-attract romantic theme pops, and the overtones of simmering passion,” said co-author McFall.

Get caught up on the love between Tucker and Lizzie now before the release of book three.

About the authors:
Between the two of them, Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall have worked in writing jobs ranging from
cowboy-poet to energy journalist to restaurant reviewer to university press officer. After they met, their writing career took center stage when they wrote the first book in The Cowboy and the Vampire
Collection as a test for marriage. They passed. Clark and Kathleen now live in Portland, Ore.

And now for the covers!!!


So what do you think? Please feel free to leave a comment below. And to make sure you are up to date on Liz and Tucker's story click here and here to buy the books.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March Mania

Hello!

I meant to post this blog last Sunday, but I've spent the last week either taking care of a sick child or being sick or both. But you didn't stop by to hear me bitch about my maternal woes now, did you? Besides the sickie bugs invading my home, March as rocked and will continue to rock.

First of all, last Saturday my local RWA chapter, Rose City Romance Writers, put on a rocking mini-conference full of goodie baskets to be won, awesome workshops, amazing food, and fantastic people to network with. I'm telling you the conferences and workshops RCRW host are worth the RWA membership in gold.

Here's a quick summery of the classes I attended:

C Morgan Kennedy presented a world-building class and showed us how Pinterest can be useful for this. I've been resisting Pinterest like a social media plague, but now am rethinking its value in creating a visual reference to the world I'm writing in.

Kristina McMorris gave an great lecture on how to weave historical facts and research details into your story without boring your reader. If you've read any of her books you know she's quite talented in writing riveting historical novels.

Jessica Morrell talked to us about writing anti-heros. She gave wonderful examples from popular TV shows like Breaking Bad and True Detectives.

Melissa McClone finished off the day on how to take your writing to the next level. We got to do some in class exercises and I learned all about it-itis among other things. Just this class alone was worth the registration fee.

And this was only half of the conference. There were two lectures going at the same time. To bad I couldn't be in two places at once! Best part though, I won the craft basket that I dumped all of my raffle tickets in.

Photo from RCRW Facebook Page.
This conference is exactly what I needed to get my writing mojo going for this coming weekend. Because for the first time in two years, I'll be going on a writer's retreat to work on finishing up revisions for one of my completed novels. Figured since I still have major mama-brain going on, I'd work on polishing something finished. Three days, no baby, no housework, no day job, just writing, and hanging out with good friends. *Insert wild squealing here*

AND to end this March Mania Month check back on the 30th for a special cover reveal from my good friends Clark Hayes & Kathleen McCall. Hint: there's vampires involved.

Have a wonderful week and I'll see ya in two!

Ciao,
Melania


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Whoa, It's February already?

I feel like the last month and a half have all happened in a week or less. This morning I woke up and realized I haven't blogged here in a while. Running two blogs can be a bit confusing to my mommy brain because I've written several posts here and was patting myself for being such a good little blogger with all the craziness going on around me.

Here's a sample of said craziness:

1. Snowmagedon 2014 happened in Portland. We don't get much snow in the city, but when we do people suddenly forget how to drive and do the most bizarre things like driving on the opposite side of the road to bypass the long string of stationary cars who are trying to get around the abandoned 4x4 SUV with low profile summer tires in the middle of a major street during peak traffic. It's times like these I question my loyalty to the human race. This picture was taken after I'd been in the car for two hours and only driven six mile. Ugh.


2. The good thing about snow in Portland is that there's lots of snow on the mountain. Last Christmas hubby gifted season passes so we've been skiing A LOT. Every other Friday we've been going up to the mountain and finishing the day with drinks and dinner at the ski lodge while grandparents watch the Boo Creature for us. It's our date day/night.


3. Speaking of the Boo Creature, we celebrated her 1st birthday last month. I still can't believe we have a toddler in our midst. Hearing her padding little footsteps through the house is music to my ears. Here's the remnants of her birthday cupcake.

 
 4. The fun part about having a toddler is shoe-shopping. Oh, yeah, got to start her early. She, of course, went for the pink slippers with sparkles and bling on them. This mama's heart swells with pride. The not so fun part about having a toddler is dealing with sickie bugs. We've been fighting some virus for the last month, each one of us taking turns being ill. But we still managed to go shoe-shopping. Priorities people!




5. I've been writing and doing lots of editing. I mean LOTS. You might remember me mentioning that I'm going to self-publish a memoir in February or March of this year. Turns out that self-publishing is a whole lot harder than I imagined. If I can get this book out by the end of March, it will be the miracle of the year. Currently I'm half way through the first round of edits. So far in my experience, I've gained a ginormous appreciation for all my self-publishing friends. People who look down their noses at the self-pub community have no clue what it really takes to get a book out there without the help of a publishing company. It's loads of work and stress. There have been many times I almost wanted to scrap the project all together, but if there's anything I've written that I believe in, it's this book.

I'm also working on a New Adult contemporary which I'll focus more after I get Urban Goddess Mama out.  More to come on this project. :)

That pretty much sums up the last couple of months.  I'll try to be better blogger. But hey at least I have a good excuse- I'm writing, which is a good thing.