777!

I’ve crawled out of the hole I’ve been in for the past week, dusted candy wrappers of m’self, and slunk over to the blog for one reason and one reason only.

777!!!!

I was tagged by my awesome agent sister, Rachel Simon, and now I get to participate in this awesome blog update.

What is it? Well. Basically, I go to the seventh page of my book, to the seventh line, and put seven lines up on the blog.

So here we are. I’m going to give you a sneak peak.

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Context – this is the prologue. It’s the night of The Truce, and the war between our world and the mysterious Realm is almost over. Both sides have until midnight to call their soldiers home.

Ember is home with her mother, watching a movie and waiting 12:00.

___________

I dozed off. When I woke, the credits were rolling on the screen, and my mom was curled up next to me.
The lights flickered once.
Twice.
Then went out.
I wanted to believe it was the storm that knocked out the power. The rain was coming down hard – it would’ve been an easy explanation.

Every house had two back-up generators. A Reaper’s power could knock out one, but I’d never heard of them knocking out two at once. It was just the rain, I told myself. Lightning hit a power line.

The floodlights in front of Elijah’s house cast an eerie glow in through the front windows. A power line would’ve knocked out more power than just our house. Panic flexed in my chest as the darkness around my mom and I deepened.

____________

duhn duhn DUHN!!!! So it’s scary and rainy and kick-ass (if I say so myself – two months on this effing scene… it should be kick-ass) and I’m thooper stoked for you all to read the finished thing.

Thesis is due Friday. Can’t wait for all the things I love to actually be part of my life again. Imma write for hours and finish these edits, catch up on Supernatural (all nine seasons, obvi), dance to TSwift’s new album, and maybe even shower. In that order.

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On Feeling Overwhelmed.

I’ve been a little busy, lately. I hate it when people say that because it feels like – who isn’t busy?

But please allow me a brief minute to have a mental breakdown.

Ross and I had a lovely working weekend this past weekend. My mom and sisters watched Aryn (because they are amazing) and let us disappear. We rented a hotel room down the street, bought as much junk food as we could carry, and locked ourselves away for two days. The lovely Hilary Miller came to join in, and it was great. Ross took a bite out of his dissertation and I cleaned some more edits. We checked out and I was feelin’ pretty good.

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But then something happened when I got home. I looked at the calendar and felt like I hadn’t done anything. So instead of sitting down and trying to tackle things one at a time, I engaged in the time-honored practice of sticking my fingers in my ears and saying I can’t hear you, stress lalalalalalalala

I’m getting two master’s degrees at two different universities at the same time – one in Malibu and one in Claremont. My husband is in the third year of his PhD program. He works at a VA and is trying to finish his dissertation. We a have a one year-old daughter who has just learned to crawl faster than the time it takes me to realize she’s halfway up the stairs.

In the next two weeks, I have a presentation, a paper, and half a screenplay due. I also have to have the final edits for my thesis due to my committee by November 1st… and if they’re not up to par, I don’t graduate in December as planned.

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Working out has kind of taken a back seat, which makes me grumpy. I’m constantly trying to be one of those “working out is my therapy” kind of people, but instead I’m like “are you going to finish those thirty Andes Mints please and thank you”.

This blog is usually about positivity and go-getterness and chasing dreams. But it never hurts to be realistic. And sitting here with my double screen open to my thesis materials while my beloved novel sits next to me, almost done but not quite… I’m frustrated. Frustrated that school is getting in the way of my dreams. It feels backwards and never-ending.

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It’s been a rough day. Things are looking up, though. I just bought the Lifetime movie adaptation of JK Rowling’s life for four bucks on iTunes so I think it’s time for some red wine and an ugly cry. I’ll try again tomorrow. Never thought I’d say this, but things actually look much better at 5am. As the verse says, His mercies are new every morning. At the rate I’m going, I’d better start early.

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A Writing Blog Tour!

Hello, All! Happy Wednesday!
There are many cool things about being one of Carrie Howland’s clients. First of all, she’s pretty awesome. Second of all, she has other awesome clients. One of those aforementioned awesome clients is Melissa Gorzelancyzk (I’ve hit my ‘awesome’ quota for this post, I promise. The rest of the awesome is henceforth implied). Her book, ARROWS, is forthcoming from Randomhouse/ Delacorte Press in 2016.
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It’s pretty cool, guys. It’s the story of Aaryn, a wayward cupid, and Karma, a dance prodigy whose desitny is derailed by the power of a single arrow. If you want to know more about her (and I would recommend it, cause she’s pretty great), you can check out her website here: www.melissagorzelanczyk.com.
Or, visit her Goodreads page here.
So.
Melissa asked if I’d be willing to be part of a blog tour, which is basically a where a bunch of writer’s write about their processes and share with other writers. She gave me these questions, and I shall do my best to answer them.
What are you working on? Currently, I am revising/editing my YA manuscript, Bloodburner. It’s about Ember, a cutter who finds out she has dangerously magical blood that could re-ignite a centuries-long war. Armed with some spot-on notes from Carrie and her lovely assistant Susan, I am looking to be finished in the next couple of days. (Fingers crossed).
How does your work differ from others of its genre? I think my writing is different because it’s a fantastical take on a mental battle. It addresses both cutting and a fantastical conflict in the same story. But I’m also a romantic at heart and love a good adventure, so there’s a boy and a quest, of course. I love stories that are full of darkness, sexual tension, high stakes, and redemption. My writing as been described as part of the  “glitter and blood” genre. Not quite sure what that means, but I think I like it.
Why do you write what you do? I write what I write because I love virtue, but I think it’s packaged too neatly nowadays. I find that discouraging. We all have secrets, we all have dirty parts of ourselves that we don’t want shown – but grace is only grace because we get dirty. True love is only true love because we’ve seen the cheap copies. My characters have been knocking around my mind for some time now. I guess I didn’t want to show them because I was worried about how they’d be received. It took a while for me to embrace the idea of telling the whole story: stolen kisses, shameful secrets, scars, forgiveness…everything.
How does your writing process work? I usually write the first scene as it comes to my mind. The first scene of Bloodburner is actually the only scene that hasn’t really changed, thus far. Then, I sit down with my handy-dandy white board and write down every scene that needs to happen. Again, these will change as the story progresses (hence, the white board. There is something very discouraging about crumpling paper). Then, I write the first draft. It usually takes me about six to eight weeks to write a manuscript once I’ve mapped out the story. Then there’s the brief euphoria that comes with finishing the first draft.
Then there is the realization that the first draft is only the beginning. At this point, I set it aside for a couple of weeks. When I re-read it, I spend most of the time face-palming over simple mistakes. I map out changes that need to be made. This is where the process has shifted in the past year. Before, I would re-read and re-read again, trying to catch the mistakes myself. Now, I get to send drafts to Carrie, which is awesome (sorry. One more awesome).
She and Susan give me notes, and I revise.
On a daily basis, my writing process starts at 5am. I write until my daughter wakes up. Then, we make the day work. My husband is getting his PhD and is writing his dissertation, and I’m doing revisions. We also have a one year-old, so it’s a constant balance. We have a lot of loving family that love to watch the baby, so that helps. I take what time I can, slip on some headphones, blast some Tove Lo or Two Steps, and disappear.
Thanks to the wonderful Melissa for inviting me to this blog tour! All this writing makes me want to…write.
Which I shall now go do!