Saturday, March 28, 2015

1 Year Anniversary of Violet Storm!

The one-year anniversary of my debut novel, Violet Storm is today, Saturday, March 28th!!

It's been a wonderful year full of learning, and yes, full of stress. I learned a lot about self-publishing and about myself. I feel so much more prepared for the release of the next books in the Modi Series and I'm hopeful that things will go much more smoothly the next time around. (crossing fingers) From editing, to cover design, to marketing and public appearances, it's been a whirlwind of anxiety, giddiness, and panic.

Thank you for all the support, for joining me on this journey, for your spectacular insight along the way, and for allowing me to share with you all the lessons I've learned.

This is for all the self-publishing mavens who've paved the way, and whom I've learned so much from, and for all the inspirational bloggers I've come to call my friends. This is for the friends who have stood beside me as I worked relentlessly to pursue this dream.

Violet Storm became a dream come true the moment it was placed in the hands of readers.

It's funny just how true that saying is, "It always seems impossible, until it's done." Thank you for your encouraging words, Nelson Mandela. These words have helped me write two books in one incredible year.

Cheers to many more books that always feel so impossible to write and to finish until those fateful, glorious words, The End. 

Check out a quick photo montage I made of the amazing year it's been. 

P.S. - I've got another present for you. Return here tomorrow evening for the release of the much anticipated, Episode IV of my adult urban fantasy, CODE NAME: GHOST! Ahhhh! :) 

Haven't heard of this series before? Click the link above to read the first three episodes. 

Happy recommends that you take his cue and relax today...

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." 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

IWSG: The Winter Blues

It's that time again! I missed last month's IWSG where writers post on the first Wednesday of the month to talk about our doubts and fears, struggles and triumphs, and offer encouraging words to our fellow writers. Click the link to see others participating.

For the past month I was struggling with a strong case of the winter blues. It happens every year in varying degrees, and for some reason, it still manages to surprise me. I have a hard time finding energy and motivation and I struggle with isolation (which I perpetuate by clearing my social calendar). I suspect it has to do with the abrupt end of the long, festive holiday season, the lack of sunny days, and the increased workload.

This is a problem. It interferes with the day-to-day joy I should feel in life.

To protect myself, I had unknowingly become emotionally detached, with no prejudice for both good or bad experiences. I am simply numb. For example, I recently finished writing my latest novel and despite the glowing feedback from my beta readers and the pride I should feel over my accomplishment, I felt...neutral. And that bothers me. I literally had to sit and ponder over the emotion that I know I should be feeling, but didn't.

Last week, I decided that I'd had enough. The way to combat a case of the blues is multi-faceted and can be complex depending on its severity. A few things include: meditation and mindfulness exercises, increased physical activity, more minutes under the sun, change in diet (more omega-3's), social interactions, and more sleep. This is what I committed to and so far, everything is going just as planned.

Five days into my regimen and I feel like a powerhouse, ready to take on the world.

I encourage anyone else who suffers from the occasional blues to seek resources and speak to a professional to help and find something that works for you! You don't have to be alone in this experience. :)

In Other News:

  • I was nominated for the "Very Inspiring Blogger Award" by the equally inspiring blogger, Liz Blocker! Thank you my lovely, smart, and crack-whip wordsmith fellow blogger! I'll have to do a full post renomination to some of my favorite inspirational blogs, but I wanted to give a shout-out to Liz for the awesome surprise! 
  • Crimson Earth progress: Fans, I wrote the first scene with Ruven and Aeva. Definitely squeee worthy. For those of you who are new to the blog, Crimson Earth is the second book of the Modi Series. Check out the first book here

Throwback video to when Fitz fit in a shoe...

Now he's big enough for bow ties...and too cool for the camera.