Sunday, December 9, 2012

{I'm Back} Post NaNo Update

Hahahahahah! OMG - I can't believe I actually thought I could keep up with the blog, the other blog, the kid, the other kid, the husband, the house, the sports, the BOOK, all in November. 


No, I really don't have any idea what I was thinking. I tried though, as is apparent by the 2 or 3 blog posts I did about NaNo while it was happening. I call that an almost win, definitely not a failure. Right? 

Whatever, I'm counting it as a not failure. Even if you don't.

So I bet you're all wondering if I managed to complete NaNoWriMo this year? Well I am very please to say that I did in fact write 50K words in 29 days. I missed probably 5 days of writing altogether between being sick or holidays and such. By the end my head throbbed, my eyes burned and my creative well had run dry.

Will I do NaNo next year? Mmmmm, more than likely. I work well on dead lines, even arbitrary ones that hold no consequence if I fail them. 

What's next for me? Well I'm taking some time off to read. Important part of being a writer is also reading. Plus I spent a whole month in my crazy messed up little fictional world, now it's time for me to visit someone else's!! In January I will start to polish the turd I am calling my book, for now titled "Beautiful Disaster" after a good friends tattoo. It fits - but may not stick as it feels a little Kami Garcia.

After a few books, I will get back to writing. My book technically hasn't ended yet. I just hit 50K and wen't I'M OUT! because I needed a break. I'm will try to keep you updated on my mad writing skills and any other fun things I do, but until then you can always check out my book blog, Me, My Shelf and I

xoxo Amber

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Catch Up Recap {NaNoWriMo}

I was sick for 3 days. 

This means 3 days with no writing. 3 days filled with dragging my self around at a snails pace. 3 days of:
Cough. Disinfect. Repeat.

I'm officially out of Clorox wipes and Kleenex. Luckily I never confused the two.  Ouch. 

Yesterday I finally psyched myself up enough to write. Even though technically I was still sick and I felt like my head was going to explode I was WAY behind and had to at least put some effort into catching up. If I didn't I'd do something to typically me: give up. You know, look down the road, see that the finish line is too far off and just go "Eff it! I made it this far"

So I set my daily goal at something reasonable. Something reachable. 500 words. Just a simply 500 words.

By the end of the night, I wrote almost 6,000 words. I had to check the word count 3 times to make sure it was right. 

Then I went back and made sure I didn't, oh I don't know...pass out on the keyboard and type the letter 'R' 6 thousand times. Nope, all actual (and mostly correctly spelled) words. I'm still in shock. Apparently cold medicine induced writing black outs are good for me?

All I can think now is that editing that should be fun....I imagine it will go something like this:

As for the rest of things here, I have quite smoking. Well, the cold forced me too, so that's a plus...unless you live with me because if you think I'm a pill when I'm 100% healthy, give me a cold and take away my cigarettes and see how long you last. I'm not saying anyone is in danger, but prayers for my family would be nice and oh, donations for their future therapy bills. 

I did manage to get over the depression about "my book" already being written. I took what I had, added some more blood and violence and will let the rest take it's course as I write. Basically my book now looks like it has a serious personality disorder instead of just a potential one, but that's fine. That's what editing (aka December) is for! *wink*

xoxo - Amber

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'm Sorry, What Now?

Alright, remember the last post I wrote? You know when I mentioned not being a fan of talking about my book because I'm afraid someone will steal my idea?

It happened.

Since my last post, an established YA author wrote, edited and published  MY BOOK *sobs uncontrollably*

Alright. I'm exaggerating. She totally didn't do all that over night. And she didn't actually steal my book, but well here....

I was over on my book blog, Me My Shelf and I, setting up some Waiting on Wednesday posts - you know looking for new books to feature for it, as you do. When I see this cover that's kinda cool and I click on it and start to read the synopsis...and well the next few moments of reading said synopsis went something like this...

Line One - Hmm okay this seems familiar
Line Two - Well, mine's a little different
Line Four - I hate you and I'll never read any of your books ever again!
Line Five - *sitting under my desk with a bottle of vodka making this face:'s pratically the SAME book!

After a pep talk from author Catherine Ryan Hyde (Pay It Forward) I am reminded, again that no one idea is ever the same when written by 2 different people. And that there really is no unique ideas left under the sun.

And, okay so now I use this to get more creative and make it NOT like her's. Make it a challenge for myself, that's what a real writer would do after all. {logic hurts brain} Still no matter what, the basis will remain the same, and should this book get published I will just be compared to her. AND OKAY I suppose another good thing is that she's quite the great author so I guess there's nothing wrong with being compared to her book - even if she used some ancient witchcraft to crawl into my brain and steal my idea, probably a year before I even had it...tricky witchy woman!

It's just SO SO similar. The new house, the haunting, the dreamy blue eyes of the love interest, the MC in danger as she figures out who the killer might be.....*headdesk headdesk*

My GWPFL (Gay Writing Partner For Life) Charlie is reminding me that my book focuses more around dreams being my MC's trigger, so I have that going for me. And he's telling me I can drink, but I can't give up. Stupid logical writing partners....I mean...I LOVE YOUR FACE CHARLIE! *wink*

For those of you sitting here going. 'So what's the damn book already' - I will tell you, but I wasn't going to. And I swear, from the top of the hills I will scream it (if you carry me up there, I'm really lazy these days) I didn't steal HER idea! I've had this for ages and started it for NaNo...crap now I look like the thief....

Here' you go, from the fantastic mind of Kim Harrington (AND ME! *sobs*) is THE DEAD AND BURIED

A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?

Tonights NaNo writing face will look something like this:

- xoxo Amber

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NaNoWriMo Recap {DAYS 3 - 5}

So, keeping up with two blogs, writing 50K in a month, maintaining personal hygiene and caring for 2 kids and a husband and doing design work for a handful of fantastic authors isn't as easy as I thought it would be. 

So far no children have gone unfed, and I've managed at least one shower this month. I think. *sniffs self* Yes, at least one. 

And the book, well it's coming along. Currently I am sitting at 11,963 words, keeping me ahead of the game by a hair. I may have gotten slightly distracted the other day whilst trying to watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer and write at the same time. What?! I have never been distracted by anything on TV while writing before. First time for everything I suppose. 

I also took some of my writing time to go meet John Barrowman (Calling all Whovians... Captain Jack Harkness! Uh yes!) and his sister Carole E. Barrowman at Red Balloon Book Store on the 3rd. Check out that post HERE. Seriously when you see 8's face in some of these photos you will collapse out of cuteness. You've been warned.

Back to the book...many of my friends and family have asked me what my book is about. I have a short synopsis on my NaNoWriMo profile that's pretty much BS. I mean it does have something to do with the book, but it's not 100% accurate. There's a reason for that. I am terrified to talk about my book. 

It has nothing to not wanting anyone to know I'm writing one. Although the "You're writing young adult fiction, is there Vampires in it?" questions and looks are getting a little old. Okay, really, really terribly old. I'm terrified to talk about it because I don't want anyone to steal my idea.

I know, I know...CAN IT! No one is going to take it, and even if they did they would never be able to write the EXACT same book as me. Annnnnnd If they did write the exact same book, then I have dated drafts on my computer...I got it. I do. I understand. I have had, at minimum, 4 author friends tell me this on repeated occasions and at various volume levels. Sometimes with colorful words thrown in to change things up now and again. 

So,in order to help myself get over...well, myself here's a snarky Cliff Notes version of what the book is about:

Girl moves to mid-west with mother after tragic death of father. Girl has some Post Traumatic Stress because of death of said father. Girl starts having strange dreams that feel remarkably real after she moves. Girl chalks this up to 1) death of father, and 2) living in new town away from all her friends. Dreams eventually start to become very dark, and terrifying ending in the brutal murder of the Girl in the dreams. Events in and around her at school and in town lead Girl to make the connection that the dreams she is having are in fact not about her, but that she is reliving the last days of a young woman who went missing in small mid-west town last year. Girl is suddenly coming to terms with the fact she is being contacted by a dead girl who is rather annoyed she was kidnapped, killed and dumped somewhere and wants her body found stat. Appearances by :love-interest" and "popular annoying cheerleader type" also in the book, for good is YA after all. 

Okay. So. I think I need to post this NOW before I change my mind and not tell you about it...*flails!*

xoxo - Amber

Saturday, November 3, 2012

WHAT'S THE WORD? {NaNoWriMo Day 2 Recap}

3 hours and 600 words in last night, I was staring, eyes glazed over like a zombie at my computer screen. Trying my hardest to think of a word.

A simple word. 
A word I knew.
A word I used.
A word that for no reason should be evading me.

It was right there on the end of my tongue. 
What the hell is it?
Read what I just wrote, trying to see what fits.
Pace the bedroom because I can't move forward until I figure out this word. Google what I'm trying to say hoping that the internet will sort the rest out for such luck.
Go upstairs to get a drink, talk to Alex a min...


That's it that's the word! runs to computer to type it in, husband looks up phone number to nearest mental institution. 

These are things that I swear only happen to writers. Can you imagine if it happened on a daily basis? I'd be at McDonald's  placing my order... I'd get stuck on a word, give up and walk away. Then minutes later, run screaming at the cashier: "CHEESEBURGER!!!" 

Okay, let's get back to the recap from last night. I rounded out with 2,745 - but this is a bit off as I have some of my character sketches included in my "compile".  Basically, in "non writer" the program I am using to write is counting words in my research toward my goal of 50,000 words. This isn't cool, so I'm sorting out how to remove them from being counted. I've called in the big guns, e-mailing Scrivener master and all around kick-ass Author, Corrine Jackson to help. 

Here's a crappy screen shot of my stats from last night. I know, day two nothing really to see here. Well, I laughed and laughed when I saw what the "expected date to finish this book if I keep at this pace" was....Nov 11th.

Excuse me a moment. Bwhahahahahahahahahahaha! *gasp* Hahahahahaha! Ha. No.

I am in no way expecting to actually keep up at "over achieving" at word counts this month. In fact, I'm so happy I'm currently ahead in my total, simply because this will keep me from dropping into a ball on the floor sobbing in defeat the first time I don't make my goal for a day. Not to mention, if I could write a 50K book in 11 days, the level of suckage it would posses would be off the charts. I wouldn't even be able to edit it, I would simply print it out so I could give it a proper burial in the fire pit out back. 

Friday, November 2, 2012


So....the goal according to the NaNo site for day one was 1667 (or something like that, I'm far, far too lazy to look it up...) 

My total for the night was 6,000 words. 

Now, don't get all's what went down....I wrote in a few sprints with my writing partner for life a.ka. WPFL, Charlie (@iCharlieYA), seriously - he's awesome, no you can't have him *smacks hand away* I SAID NO! MINE!  And through the sprints I managed to get a lot of dialogue out between my main characters.

Slow down Amber, WTFrick is a "sprint"? Geeze, you non-writerly folk are going to push me over the edge, you know that? A Sprint is a amount of time you write with in, see how many words you can get out, in say an half hour. I have also seen this called "Word Mongering" and "WriteOrDie" It's not how I normally write but NaNo has a time frame so sometimes (like last night) they work great. 

Okay, looping back to to where I was before I had to stop and explain things to you....after I sprinted a few times, I hit a road block. And Charlie had to go to bed as it was like 3 am where he lives, plus his boyfriend was getting a little whiny. (Don't judge boyfriend on that was 3 am after all - you're not a peach at that hour either!)  So I decided that I would jump ahead and write out the main ideas for scenes I knew I wanted/needed in the coming chapters. Apparently this worked well because with out knowing it I went from about 1000 words to 6K before I went to bed! In like 2 hours! 

Okay maybe this is a little bit of an accomplishment that i'm letting on. I don't want to get too excited about this word count because it is not going to happen again this month. That's not me being down on myself, that's me being realistic. 

Things I have learned about my book since I started. 
1: It sucks. (of course it does, it's only 6K words long?)
B: My Characters talk too much (hahaha funny, you know do  I?)
4: I have my "big moments set" but everything in between terrifies me to no end.

Day 2, here I come. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 {Day 1}



Here it goes. NaNo 2012. 

I have made the decision and found the time (read: forced it into my life while sacrificing other things that I should be doing) to make it happen this year. NaNo is hard people. Boy do I know it. I tried last year and got about 10K in before the kids demanded every second of my time, and the house went to total shit and my husband felt neglected. Oh and the blog, the blog needed every second I could give it just to keep my head above water...

But this year - THIS YEAR, I will be writing after the kids are in bed...every night! Luckily one goes to bed at 7PM so that gives me tons of time in the evening  And I'll also be writing at the coffee shop while 3 (name for my 3 year old) is in pre school on Monday's and Wednesday's. Husband and I have split more responsibility around the house. This really just means he's agreed to wear dirty clothes to work occasionally and eat spaghetti & sandwiches at least 50% of this month. Isn't he sweet? 

The blog is going to be the tricky part...for those of you not aware, I own and run Me My Shelf and I book blog. We're pretty awesome, you should go take a look when you have some time. Not right now though because I'm talking and that would just be rude. 

It takes a lot to run a blog, I have 6 bloggers total but all have their own life so I can't just hand it over. Trust me, I tried that avenue... I've simply forced myself to come to terms with the fact it's either the blog or the book, so MMSAI will be fairly empty of reviews this month. It might send me into sobbing fits, but I figure writing my book will be doing that to me as well, so may as well cry about everything at once. Saves time. 

So, what have I been doing today, day one of NaNo, while I wait for my time to come around this evening when I can finally write? And why do I have time to write this post and not my book? Very astute questions class. 

Well the simple answer to the first question can be answered with two words: Pinterest & Tumblr. My kryptonite. Hey! It's not all been in vain! I have made a NaNoWriMo Pinterest board (which you should totally go follow!) and found some really great "You Should Be Writing" motivational posters on Tumblr....

And the answer to the latter questions is posts are much easier to write with a toddler in the background, than a scene from my novel is. A bit faster too. For instance she's eating lunch (and by lunch I mean she's disassembled her sandwich to eat the ham) as I write this... hurriedly. 

I'm going to try to track my ups and downs, my coffee filled long nights that turn into early mornings. My plot holes and achievements here...maybe not daily, but an effort to make me feel like I'm not wasting time away that I could be using writing, I'll share many of the fun photos, quote, quips and other things like it that I come across out there on the interwebs. 

Are you doing NaNo this year? Let's be buddies! I'm MyShelfAndI on Good luck to all of you NaNo-ing!!