Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Creativity Can't Be Forced

My thoughts are a frenzy this morning. I haven't posted in a while and truth be told, the more days passed, the less I wanted to. (Hangs head in shame.)

Writing has been very challenging lately. Summer is not an easy time to write...or so I've always thought. There's just something about fall and winter that offers the perfect atmosphere and mood to awaken my most creative self. In the summer, I want to be outdoors and exploring, and in the colder, shorter days, I want to live in the fictional worlds I have created. 

I don't have that luxury any more. I am fighting my inner at-your-leisure-writer in order to publish Crimson Earth this November because I have a promise to keep with the Modi Series Fans--and Hooray! There are fans! It's a feeling unlike any to have something you've created cherished by others. 

I wish it was just as easy as having the time to write, but it's more than that. It's like every time I sit down to play out the scenes with my characters, they're simply looking back at me with not much to say or do. They want more time off...I want more time off. 

My latest work, Snow Dolls, is still circulating, and if this final round of agent submissions does not lead anywhere, I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board to figure out what's not working with the story and how the hell I'm going to fix it. 

In the meantime, I am learning the hardest part about any creative endeavor: Sometimes it just can't be forced. I've adjusted my schedule to wake up 1.5 hours earlier in the mornings so that I can write before heading off to my day job. Progress is slow, but I'm finding some measure of success. With each day, the word count grows and the plot thickens. Some pretty fantastic scenes have been written so far and I can't wait to share more with you! 

We're getting started on the cover which I hope to finish by the end of July. More on that soon! In the meantime, thank you for your continued support. Here is an in-production teaser (which still needs a bit of refinement):

[SPOILER ALERT] If you haven't read Violet Storm yet, there are spoilers below! 
My augmented skin allows me deflect the pain of the icy winter storm raging just outside the transport doors. The pearlescent color of synthetic material—whatever it’s made out of—shields me from the elements ten times better than the average human skin. Very little of me is human anymore; at least in the physical sense. I don’t know how much of my body has been augmented but I find comfort in believing that my thoughts are my own, that my choices are still mine to make. The knowledge offers some comfort, but even so, it’s hard not to feel like someone’s puppet.
My fists clench at my sides, this new body echoes my resolve. 
After weeks of preparation, we are finally going to the Arctic Trench. We don’t know what awaits us. But I hope whatever it is—what ever we see—that we’re prepared to finish what we started. 
I place a hand over the golden flutterfly patch on the chest of my armor that is made up of reinforced steel and high density fiber, coated with a matte white finish; the better to hide us in the snow. The armor should be strong enough to hinder even the sharpest knife from piercing through and puncturing a vital organ. You would think it would be heavy. On the contrary, it’s light enough that the difference is small. Still, when fighting against other augmented humans, every millisecond advantage counts. 
“It was a good idea to have these patches made,” says Ruven, as he flicks a glance at the laser-cut material running over the bicep of his nearly identical suit. “The memory of Xander Graves lives on through us.”
I clear my throat at the mention of the Monarch’s name. The late ruler of the City of Light wasn’t supposed to have died. Had I succeeded in my plans to take down the person responsible for all of this, Xander Graves would still be alive, and maybe I wouldn’t have to keep living this lie. As it is, I’m stuck, trapped for a little while longer in this stolen skin. 
“I know we’re not just here to rescue my sister,” I say quietly, so that only he can hear. “We’re here to avenge the Monarch. At least, I know I am.” 
Ruven’s lips twitch into a smile, a rare sight these days. To put the complicated matter simply: I couldn’t give him what he wanted and now things have changed between us. 
I hate it. 
I hate it for so many reasons that just thinking about it makes me want to punch someone in the face.

Writing thought of the week: The fun part about writing is not knowing what might happen to your characters and taking the journey of discovery with them. The awful part about writing is not knowing what will happen to your characters...and that your job is to figure it out in a way that doesn't kill them all. 

Fitz, the model. 


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  2. Interesting post. As much as I believe in the "butt in chair" ideology, sometimes the words just don't come. It seems easy to blame writers block or the "muse," but the difficult thing sometimes is to realize there is nothing to blame--and to just keep trying.
    Thanks for the insight, and best of luck keeping the words flowing!

    1. Hi Victoria! Thanks for the comment - and I yes, I agree. All we can do is keep trying. :) Best of luck in your writing as well!

  3. Funny, I just posted about the same sort of thing just a couple of days ago :) I keep wanting to write...but I have nothing. At least you've got a system and it seems to be working (especially with a great scene like the one you shared!). I hope the rest of your summer writing works out well!

    1. I'll have to read your blog post on that! And same to you, my friend! Hope your summer vacation/writing is going great. :)

  4. I love that picture!!!!
    I love new covers!
    I hate it when the muse gets balky.

    1. Thank you, Sandra! And agree about balky muses. >_< LOL

  5. Summer is harder to write in! And sometimes we do just need a break. I'm glad you are working through it and that things are progressing. Just remember that creativity needs a rest sometimes too.

    1. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks summer is challenging to write in! Thanks for the kind and encouraging words. :)

  6. Yay Anna!! It's so nice to see you around again :)

    "Writing has been very challenging lately. Summer is not an easy time to write...or so I've always thought. There's just something about fall and winter that offers the perfect atmosphere and mood to awaken my most creative self. In the summer, I want to be outdoors and exploring, and in the colder, shorter days, I want to live in the fictional worlds I have created." This is so perfectly said. I feel the exact same way, and I love how you expressed it. Take more frequent breaks and enjoy the weather, and that way you can still be productive, too!

    1. Thanks Liz! It's been tough fitting time for the blogosphere on the calendar. :/ I'm trying to get back into the habit of it. You're going to be VERY busy shortly ;) Looking forward to your coming adventure!!

  7. CRIMSON EARTH sounds like a great title for a book! And such a gorgeous photo of you and the cat! Don't know who's prettier :)


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