Sunday, November 13, 2016

RIP Blogger & Hello WordPress

We're moving!!


This move has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, Blogger has not done much to innovate and I've been ready for a must-needed refresh for some time. Wordpress is simple, easy to use and offers a beautiful interface to attract and retain readers.

I'll be starting with a clean slate--no migration of archived blogs. I'm going to rip the band-aid and start anew. Why? You ask.

Well, I think it's time for the next version of "If You Wish to be a Writer." I'll be carrying over the blog name (just insert Wordpress, where Blogspot used to be) and adding a more defined purpose: offering curated writing advice from top editors, writers, and literary agents. Below is a quick snapshot of what I hope to achieve.

Thank you to everyone who's been with me since day one. :) I hope you follow me on this next journey!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Back with New Releases and Writerly Musings!

I cringe at the thought of how long it's been since my last post. Why the disappearing act? Well...

Have you ever pushed yourself to accomplish something with all your heart and soul, giving up your social life, Netflix, sleep, and proper nourishment, only to end up hating said work? That's exactly what happened to me.

I literally, could not stand to talk about Crimson Earth, the second novel in the Modi Trilogy. And what a shame, because I sacrificed months out of my life--my sanity--to meet this goal. I had it in my head to finish, and so I did. And when it was done. I was done. I was so sick, I wanted to walk away from writing. After eight years of being so passionate, so isolated, I wanted to leave it behind me and discover Anna 2.0. Because how--how is this healthy? Putting in so much work for what? I questioned all of it.

Then two months ago, I got the bug. It wouldn't leave me. I suddenly realized that this is who I am supposed to be. The picture of my future was the same, just painted differently than I how I thought it was going to be.

So I started writing again. To alleviate the pressure, I focused on one of my more fun projects: a short story Urban Fantasy series I've been working on intermittently for the past five years, titled, "Code Name: Ghost." The bug grew, and I began toying with the idea of publishing it as some of my writer friends recommended.

So here I am. Back at it.

On Monday, October 31st, after a long hiatus, I'm releasing five episodes in three e-books. To both new and early readers of the series, you'll be delighted to know I've edited, revised, and expanded the first episodes, so they're more in line with my current skills as a writer. I'm proud to say that I've grown so much over the last five years, and couldn't be more proud of this body of work.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Code Name Ghost - Episode 1 & 2

Meet the uniquely gifted Assassin, Emily Newcastle. Her last job turns out to be the first in a slew of battles as she faces off against monsters known as Deviants. 

Code Name Ghost - Episode 3 & 4

Emily Newcastle tracks down the organization determined to kill her, and identifies the man behind it all. To get to him, she must face off against some of the most powerful Deviants on Earth. Her choices have devastating consequences. 

Code Name Ghost - Episode 5

Nearly retired Assassin, Emily Newcastle is close to tying all the loose ends of her past life, when she is lured by a Deviant willing to share not just his knowledge, but his power. There is, of course, something he needs in return.

Where to purchase? 

All e-books are available for purchase in your favorite online stores: 
Google Play, iBooks, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and more! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Fangirling: Gilmore Girls Revival

Can I just fangirl for a moment?

Months ago, I'd heard faint murmurs of a Gilmore Girls revival. At the time, all I felt was a moderate flicker of excitement. Like most people, I don't like getting my hopes up only to have them crushed when the truth comes out.

So anyway, I thought grudgingly, Probably just another rumor. Because as awesome as it sounded, it had been ages since the last season, and since then, Edward Herrmann had left us. So even if they did do a revival - how will the show ever be the same? No doubt not all of the actors would be available or even interested in coming back. So I hung onto the pessimistic idea, which had the effect I intended: it kept me from getting my hopes up.

Then in the last week or so, it was officially announced! Huzzah!

There is definitely a revival, and Netflix will be airing four movie-length episodes (90 minutes each). The episodes are titled by season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.

Now, of all the Stars Hallow regulars, I'm hoping they'll bring back Jared Padalecki (Dean Forester--deep sigh), the first of Rory's boyfriend's. What those two had was so innocent and amusingly adorable (well, you know...until Dean got married while he was still in love with Rory...juicy right?). Anyway, it all started out as all plots do: simple and then tumbling downhill hitting rocks, crevices, and shrubbery along the way. It was gut-wrenching. You wanted to root for them, but in the end they were headed in different directions. Rory's path would take her away from Stars Hallow, studying at Yale, and leading a budding career as a kick-ass journalist. But if you want more reasons as to why he's my fave, just read this list. (Hint: that last line, "He encouraged her dreams." **melts**)

Why all the fan-girling you ask? I don't know when it really clicked for me. As an older millennial, Gilmore Girls aired during my early teens. I could have watched it then but I didn't. Superhero shows were more my thing (remember Smallville?), and at the time, this series just screamed regular ol' drama.

But early last year, I was going through another heavy travel season for work. I was far away from California (again), spending consecutive nights at a hotel in the middle of winter, and I ached for the comforts of home. Gilmore Girls filled that bleak hole. The storyline was juicy, compounding in complexity, filled with mother and daughter love and triumph, neighborly compassion, and all of it happening in an intimate town that made you dream to live there. (The show is most renowned for its dialogue. It really is brilliantly written.)

The intro song, Where You Lead, comes to mind whenever I'm traveling. I equate the feeling this series gives me to a good book I want to return to time and time again.

Where you lead, I will follow 
Anywhere that you tell me to 
If you need, you need me to be with you

I will follow where you lead

If you're out on the road 

Feeling lonely, and so cold 
All you have to do is call my name 
And I'll be there on the next train 

And with that...I can't wait to jump back into Stars Hallow!

What about you? Do you have a favorite(s) TV series?

Love, love, and more love, ~A

New to my blog? Check out some of my other work
Plus the release of my latest book: Crimson Earth

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Triumph After the Pain: Why I took a Break From Writing

I found myself struggling to write--to put pen to paper, to put fingers to keys. There was a kind of fear that wasn't there before. And it scared me.

I'm aware that it's in large part due to burnout. I was creatively exhausted. Depleted. Empty. And extremely frazzled.

Crimson Earth was a huge project. The number of hours committed and the emotional toll it took on me, officially made it the hardest project I've ever accomplished. Maybe if I hadn't been in the midst of busy season at work, and maybe if I hadn't been planning a wedding, then maybe it would have been easier. There were times when I felt like I was drowning, and I would plaster a fragile smile on my face, absolutely determined to finish the f*cking book.

Looking back at it now, those months felt like a dream.

Crimson Earth is done. It's out there for the world to devour. There was a brief moment during the holidays where I wanted to ride that momentum--the euphoric waves of having written and published my second book. I was eager to start on another story that had been clamoring for my attention. But every time I sat down to collect my thoughts it felt as if the strings tethering my heart were suddenly clipped, and a steel wall would come down, shutting away any and all inspiration.

That feeling was terror.

I wasn't ready to endure that kind of pain again.

I'm so very proud of the sequel. Every time I think of the plot and the subplots, a bubble of elation and glory fills me. Because I did it. I really, really did it. I wrote and published a second book. And I love every page: The harrowing journey taken by Aeva, the beauty of Ruven's pain, Pique's bravery, and Karth's glimmering hope. It was a curse-of-a-challenge, and one that definitely helped me grow as a writer.

But like a child who's touched a blazing stove, I remember, the agony of the heat. I recall it too vividly--the sleepless nights, the muscle spasms triggered by anxiety; holding my breath as I counted and recounted how many hours a week I could realistically devote to writing. There was never enough time in the day, and the chilly nights were nothing more than a tease.

There were good moments in those months. Most notably, was the sharp, untouchable focus. A kind of intensity that I'd never experienced before. I would lose myself in the work and it was a blissful kind of purgatory. In those moments I was determined, passionate, and driven.

I'm almost over this slump. I know this because I have finally written and posted this blog!

I was so trapped in my fear that I couldn't get myself to write a simple, honest post. I felt like I had no words. Nothing meaningful to say, and any effort was already more than I had in me.

I'm over the hill, so to speak. I've started reading again, thinking, thinking, and thinking some more about the other stories buzzing around in my wearied imagination. That space in my head felt like it had shrunken, but it's growing again, like the glow of a bulb turning brighter as it builds and consumes more energy.

Breaks are important for this reason. In the stillness and quiet is where our dreams can flourish, breathing color and life into empty spaces.

I'm going to be trying something new for my next project--Snow Dolls--which after a turbulent stint in the querying circuit, is now back on the editing block. For those of you who have read my stories, you know my strength has mostly been in first-person narratives. I'm going to go out of my comfort zone and change it up a bit for SD. It's going to take a lot of work, but Time and I are going to be friends on this challenge. It will be my goal for 2016.

Thanks for stopping by and checking in on me. :) I've missed you!

BTW - Have you checked out Crimson Earth yet? Let me know what you think by leaving a review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Love, love, and more love, ~A