Monday, March 9, 2015

Hungry For Another Challenge

Compounding stress can creep up on you and sometimes it can be hard to back-pedal to some semblance of normalcy where you no longer want to hide from any and all responsibility. I've found salvation in a breathing technique known as the Relaxation Breath. Just think 4-7-8. Breathe in four counts, hold breath seven counts, and release eight counts. After the first few times, you'll notice your heart rate decreasing and a weightless, almost light-headed sensation. This will get you back the sense of control that can be easy to lose in moments of high stress and anxiety!

Try it out. Meditation is good for the soul.

I loved Vex Hex Smash Smooch, so I got the companion, Sin & Syntax.
Not much has changed in my world. Still traveling a bunch for work. I'll be in Boston this week and after that, it's home for a long while. Busy season will begin to die down and I'll be back to more normal work hours. I hope to use the extra time to finish Crimson Earth (Part II of the Modi Series). The completion date will hopefully be August!

Having grown as a writer, I wanted to take this next book to a whole new level. Snow Dolls was a labor of love. It was painful, it was daunting, and it was glorious. Halfway through, I feared that trying to create a unique world of Dolls and fitting three individual stories that would converge,  was more than I was capable. I was wrong of course. :) I wanted to write that story because I knew it would be hard and it begged to be told. What I learned of myself was priceless. 

Now it's on to the world of Modi's and I find myself hungry for another grand challenge. I wrote Violet Storm (the first book in the Modi series) over three years ago. And since then, there has been a surge in Dystopian novels with an X-men-like twist. Characters have powers, the laws of the new world are crappy, and people must face dark truths to survive. So how do I make this story compelling despite what feels like a very saturated genre? Where can I infuse authenticity and originality?
A delicious Hemingway Daiquiri at Curry Up Now. 

The answer is in the plot and the characters.

I'm challenging myself to do what I did in Violet Storm and surprise the heck out of my readers. It's what they loved in VS, and I'm going to do my damnedest to make magic happen again.

Wish me luck.

Oh, and try out the 4-7-8 meditation exercise and tell me what you think! :)

Happy says "hi" and "love." 

25 comments:

  1. Good luck! I know Crimson's going to be great :) And I've going to give the breathing bit a shot--I do something similar now, but I like the counting associated with this!

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    1. Thanks Meradeth! And yes, it's so funny, but the counting really helps. You have to be focused on the present and mindfully aware. It's done wonders for me. :)

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    2. So true!! It really does help to get that focus :)

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  2. Hey, that breathing technique really works. I do something similar in yoga, but this one you can do anywhere without a posture.

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    1. Cool! :) Glad to hear, Maria. And yes, I agree that it's something you can do anywhere and anytime. As with all other techniques, the more you do it, the better it works.

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  3. Seeing your drink made me think of Tequila Mockingbird. It's the cutest little book based around literary drinks. I bought it for a friend for Christmas, who is a huge To Kill a Mockingbird fan. And I love hearing about your perseverance even in the face of difficult writing and work- makes me hopeful for myself!

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    1. Oooh, a Tequlia Mockingbird?? That sounds delicious. I'm a fan of tequila ;P LOL I'll have to check out the book!

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  4. For me it's all about the characters. I can put up with a lot plot/writing wise if I love the characters. Make your characters real, make them our friends, make them people we have to pay attention to, even if we don't like them, Your story will be amazing! I liked violet storm so I'm already there. :)

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    1. Thank you, Sara! And I agree, it's so important to have characters readers will fall in love with and have a strong emotional connection. :)

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  5. Yup, I do breathing exercises to calm down, too. Mostly yoga breathing stuff, and it really helps.

    Hey, you're in my hometown, huh? Just in time for nicer weather. It's a little weird to be outside wearing no coat, enjoying the warm weather, surrounded by snow, isn't it???

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    1. I really want to get into Yoga, especially since it's something I can do anytime at home (with the cats laying on the mat). And yes, Boston was so fun! Not as cold as the last time I visited, which was a blessing. :) Hope you're staying warm. Sending you some Cali love and sunshine!!

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  6. good luck! you got this...I'm learning that taking my time is key to create memorable characters! And I started doing 4-7-8 when I read about it a little over a month ago...it helps SO much.

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    1. Thanks Beth! You and I probably read the same article on the 4-7-8 breathing technique. LOL

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  7. A good drink makes for great inspiration! I keep reading blogs about meditating--this is the second one in a row. I think the universe is perhaps sending me a message.

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    1. Yes! (As I am currently holding a glass of wine…) :) And LOL on the signs from the universe telling you to consider meditation!

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  8. I will indeed try the breathing technique. I'd love some more information on Sin and Syntax. Has it been helpful?
    Hope your muse stays firmly affixed to your shoulder.

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    1. I'm on chapter two of Sin and Syntax, and I just have to say that I love author, Constance Hale's style! I feel like she's talking to me rather than preaching. It's a great learning tool, and I love her writing. :) Definitely worth the time to check out!

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  9. I should meditate more often. I know I feel better when I do it.

    Crimson Earth is the next book, huh? I like the sound of that. :)

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    1. *Pumps a fist into the air* Yeah! :) Glad you like the title, David!

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  10. Hi there, Anna. Just stopped by to say hey and have a good evening.

    Hello, Happy:)

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    1. Hi Sandra! :) Hope you're having a lovely Friday!

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  11. I have a very stressful day job, so I can't wait to try the meditation at work.

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    1. Sheila, I'm right there with you! I do this meditation to and from work on the drive home. LOL

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  12. I tried the meditation, and I'm not floating but I feel better. I never read Violet Storm, but consider this a great marketing post, because you sold me. Now I have to get the book to see what you're talking about. :-) I'm looking forward to reading it.
    Have a great day.
    Deb

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    1. Oh Debi! Thanks so much for stopping by. :) I'm glad to hear that this post sold you! LOL Marketing is a tough beast. Every little bit helps.

      And I'm not much for meditating either. Today, I'm trying out Pilates. Wish me luck! Hah!

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