Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Why Is A Raven Like A Writing Desk (an IWSG Post)

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group.

For more information and/or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker, Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey.

This month's (optional) question asks, "What are five objects we'd find on your desk?"

As this question is infinitely more interesting than my current spate of insecurities, let's take a tour of my desk, shall we? It'll be slightly less terrifying. Probably, anyway. There are knives involved, so it could really go either way.

The desk:

This is my desk, mess and all. I bought it when I moved here, and it's been a very good desk. The only problem is there are far too many places for me to shove random crap. I really need to go through and de-clutter the damn thing one day.

But not today.

Here are five objects one will find on my desk on any given day...

1. Toys

I really love those Funko Pop figurines. Wonder Woman, Buffy Summers, and Ygritte live on my desk, as does Baby Groot, Aragorn, Zoe Washburne, and Battle Cat. And, of course, my pewter pegasus is there at Wonder Woman's side.

2. Books

Is it weird to have copies of your own books on your desk? I feel like it is, but these two are here for reference purposes. Anytime I need to double check what actually ended up in a earlier book, I have them handy. There are some grammar books floating around (such as The Chicago Manual of Style) but they were in the last photo.

3. Notebooks

I may have a slight notebook addiction and, as such, there are roughly 9,000,000 of them in my office. But on my desk one will find my current notebook and the project organization notebook in which I write my weekly To-Do list. That list had spoilers in it (and not just how far behind in everything I am), so it's covered up.

4. Writing utensils

I may have a slight pen addiction and, as such, there are an endless number of pen cups and pencil boxes all over my office (and possibly the house). The two (fine, there are three of them) on my desk are filled with my current favorites and a few odds and ends. That decorated piece of wood in the bottom righthand corner is actually a stake my niece made for me so I can kill any vampires who come to interrupt my writing time. Because my niece is seriously awesome.

5. Weapons

I like sharp, pointy objects. Throwing knives are my current obsession, so the two sets pictured above currently live on my desk. (In the desk pic, they're in their cases beneath the monitor.) I may or may not play with them whenever I'm stuck for ideas. (Please note: if the cat is sleeping in my lap, I play with the slinky instead...)

And that will do it for me today. Possibly the whole damn year, too, given that I've done very little blogging lately outside of goals and IWSG. Should that be the case, I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and end of 2018.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Last Goals of the Year

At long last, we come to December. I'm not sure how it's December already, and this is terrible news for the goals I set for myself back in January because I am really far behind.

Which brings us to the end-of-the-year push where I attempt to make up as much of the difference as I can.

But first, here's how last month's goals went:

1. Win NaNoWriMo.

If you follow me on social media, you may already know how this turned out. It went a little something like this..

So yeah. I managed a win. I basically dragged myself across the 50,000-word line and called it quits because I am feeling as though the book went in the wrong direction, meaning the plans I've had all along for this story need to be reconsidered and revised. Possibly thrown out entirely and started over. Always a great place to be. But hey, even if I do end up throwing out everything I wrote this month, at least I got a NaNoWriMo win out of it?

2. Don't hide/embarrass myself during this month's book events any more than absolutely necessary.

I'm not actually sure how to judge this goal. I attended two events, made eye contact with a few people, and despite that, still managed to sell a few books. Not a ton of books, but then again, I never sell very many books. So...success?

3. Log at least three miles every day

This one I did. Yay for me not becoming part of my desk chair!

Now for December's goals...

1. Finish writing the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Bad Romance novel

Yeah, that's right. This book still isn't finished. I feel like I'm two completed chapters from the end, but I'm struggling to figure out how to end it. You know, besides happily. One of my critique partners suggested I just kill everyone off—like a Red Wedding kind of thing. Think that means she's sick of this project?

2. Read 11 books.

Yeah, that's right. I'm 11 books away from reaching my 2018 reading goal. According to Goodreads, I need to read multiple books a week for the rest of the year to complete my challenge. That's what happens when you literally don't read anything for two months straight. You know what this's graphic novel time.

3. Walk an insane number of miles that I'll never actually reach because that's how far behind I am in my 2018 mileage goal.

Yeah, that's right. I actually did the math, and in order to make my 2018 mileage goal, I will have to walk a good 15 miles a day, every day, for the entire month. So yeah. That's not going to happen. Still, I will attempt to log as many miles as I can. Or I will sit on my couch and binge watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

That's it for me today. What's on your agenda this month? Is anyone else in a end-of-the-year crunch?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

You Need To Talk More (An IWSG Post)

Hello, all!

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

By now, I assume that anyone coming here is already well-versed in this group, but if you happen to be new (and welcome, if you are...), or would just like more information or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link.

This month's co-hosts are: Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman.

This month's (optional) question asks, "How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?"

But I'm going to skip that question in order to ramble on about something else. And it may not be anything more than a ramble because I am seven days into NaNoWriMo, meaning that I am now approximately 85% Dr. Pepper, 10% Pop Tarts, and 5% water, which may make me 100% more incomprehensible than normal.

So, okay. If you follow me on social media, then you may already be aware that last weekend, I took part in a local book fair, meaning I had my books (y'all, I have more than one book now!) on a table and I engaged (if you use the term loosely) with the general public (or, those who wandered by, anyway) in an effort to sell said books.

The woman at the table next to me had many more books to her name that had gone through multiple printings, as well as an agent and a publisher who wanted her to write more. (Interesting side note: she told me that writing was never something she had actually wanted to do. It was just something she ended up doing, unlike me, who has been writing ever since I learned how.) We were at the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as what we wrote, why we wrote, how we wrote, and how we sold what we wrote.

She went for what I would consider to be the hard sell. She approached anyone who came close enough to tell them who she was and what she wrote before asking what they liked to read and then handing them whatever book best fit their preferences. And it seemed to work for her because though I wasn't tracking her sales, she said repeatedly that she was selling more than she had anticipated.

Which, seriously, good for her.

I, on the other hand, took a more...laid back approach. In the interest of full disclosure, I honestly feel if I so much as say, "Hey, I wrote a book" then I am going for the hard sell, which is not a feeling I enjoy. Therefore, I very seldom utter that sentence. Or anything else even remotely close to that sentence. Instead, I followed my retail rules, meaning I greeted anyone who came into my zone so they would know that I knew they existed, asked how they were doing, then left them alone to browse as they desired, keeping an eye out for obvious signs of needing help. Or actually answering any actually asked questions (say that five times fast...).

This is an approach with which I am at least faintly comfortable. So much of the marketing/self-promotion side of writing just makes me feel awful—physically awful—that I truly struggle with it. For me, these events are really more an opportunity for me to put myself out there just a little bit, in the hopes that one day it may get easier and I'll get better at it.

But my efforts prompted my neighbor to declare, "You're too shy. You need to talk more."

Which prompted me to want to do this:

Because I do not want to talk more. The idea of doing so fills me terror on the same level as me taking a walk outside in the Florida woods (which is to say, pretty damn terrifying...).

I feel like I talk all the freaking time and sound like a complete idiot while doing it, and I literally feel awful—again, physically awful—for days following social interactions.

But I thought I did all right last Saturday. I had some good conversations with people at that event, and I actually sold a few books (as in more than one). I ultimately came away thinking that it had been a pretty successful experience overall. I didn't sell nearly as many books as my neighbor did—something of which she did make note—but I feel like that comes back to what I have said in previous posts (or at least one post).

That the only person who gets to define success in these situations is you. Me. However that works. (Have I mentioned the NaNo-induced sleep deprivation?)

Which prompts me to end yet another post with my favorite words to live by (that may or may not have anything to do with whatever the hell I was talking about):


That's going to do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by. And if you're participating in NaNoWriMo
this month, I hope it's going well!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

November Goals

Happy Halloween, everyone!

As you perhaps gathered from the title of today's post, I'm talking goals. First up is a brief-ish recap of how I made out with last month's goals:

1. Release Second Nature's ebook

This actually happened. It turns out that much of my frustration was due to the fact that I kept sending the wrong version of the book to my e-reader, so none of the changes I had made were showing up. Oops. Once I realized the mistake (really, I'm smart in other ways. Probably.), things went a lot smoother. So yeah. Second Nature is officially available in paperback and on Kindle, which means for the first time in years, I have no Second Nature goals on my To-Do list. I'm not actually sure how I feel about that. I hope eating my weight in peanut butter cups will help me figure it out.

2. Finish first draft of the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Bad Romance novel

As of the writing of this post, I have two scenes left to write. Of the four scenes I mentioned in my last post, I deleted the one on which I was undecided and finished the dreaded sex scene. Sure, the sex scene is about as sophisticated as a Dick and Jane story, but it's good enough for the first draft. This leaves me with the last two scenes in the book: the lead-up to the happy ending, and the happy ending itself. I absolutely have no idea how to actually end this book, but here's hoping I figure out something before midnight. Or before my peanut-butter-cup-induced coma kicks in. Which ever comes first.

3. Finish the first draft of Retail Rhapsody

Didn't quite get there. I was swamped with other projects this month, and this one fell by the wayside. But it is definitely taking shape. Shape-ish. It'll get there. Eventually. Ish.

4. Log at least three miles per day

Done, and done. I think I'm still slightly behind my year-long goal, but I have two months to try and make up the difference. Or at least some of the difference.

Here are my goals for November:

1. Win NaNoWriMo

I haven't participated in the November edition of NaNoWriMo since 2015, where I ended up with 35,000 words and a loss. I hope to do better this time around. My intended project is Book Three of my fantasy series (aka Full Circle). I will need way more than 50,000 words to complete this project, but I aim to get a nice jump on things. We'll see how it goes. I've been chomping at the bit to work on this book for months now, but I'm worried that I was only so eager to work on it because I had other things I had to do instead. But now that I have an entire month set aside to do nothing but work on this book? I'll probably just end up doing my very best Cave Slayer impression.

2. Don't hide/embarrass myself during this month's book events any more than absolutely necessary

This month, I am scheduled to attend two local author book fairs (details in the sidebar), which is making me feel a great deal of anxiety—this on top of the regular amount of anxiety I feel about everything everyday anyway. I may have to make eye contact with people. They may ask what my books are about. I may have to do the whole putting-words-into-sentence-doing thing, and I am really terrible at that. And everything else I mentioned. So the goal is to pretty much act as normal-ish as possible as much as possible.

3. Log at least three miles every day

I need to make sure I don't become part of my desk chair this coming month.

That's it for me today. Are you NaNo-ing this November? Doing something else exciting?

Tune in next time when I may or may not remember to post something at some point in November!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Four Scenes and Three Days

Before I get to the actual post part of this post, please allow me one small indulgence...


Okay. I'm done.

(Narrator: MJ was not done.) the beginning of the month, one of my goals was to finish the first draft of the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Bad Romance novel.

Now it's the end of the month, and I am four scenes away from accomplishing this goal.

(This sounds, perhaps, less impressive (provided it sounds impressive at all) if you know that at the beginning of the month, I was eight scenes away from the end. It's possible I didn't have a ton of time for writing this month...and not just because I was watching baseball.)

Of those four scenes, two are partially written. They just need to be finished. The other two have yet to be started. Of those two, one may be cut entirely because I'm not convinced it actually needs to be there. (And the more desperate I am to finish this book, the more convinced of this I become...)

But the thing is, I only have three more days to write those four scenes.

I mean, sure. If I don't get it done, it's not like the manuscript will self-destruct or anything, but it will put a serious cramp in my writing plans not only for the rest of this year, but the start of next year as well. I'd really like to avoid that if I can. I get so far behind so easily that I'd really like to not get behind in 2019 until 2019.

Dare to dream, right?

So, the bottom line is I really want to finish writing this book in the next three days. For a couple of reasons.

First, I'm planning to do NaNoWriMo this year, and that starts on Thursday. If you've ever done NaNoWriMo, you know what a time suck it can be. It's supposed to be my reward for finishing other projects (*coughcough* Second Nature *coughcough*), but I feel weird about doing it when one of those other projects isn't actually finished.

The other reason is I just really want to be done with this book. I honestly never thought I would finish this project in my lifetime, so to be so close to doing so now is making me anxious. More anxious, I should say. I'm pretty anxious about everything every day anyway.

But that's another blog post for another day.

Which brings me back to the main focus of the post—THE RED SOX WINNING THE WORLD SERIES!!

No, wait. Sorry.

(Narrator: MJ was not sorry. She was super freaking excited.)

I mean, writing four scenes in three days.

Which maybe wouldn't be such a big deal except that two of those scenes pose my greatest writing challenges: the dreaded sex scene (I seriously hate writing sex scenes) and the happy ending.

I mean, in my other stories, the characters have done well if, by the end of the book, they're not dead, dying, or bleeding from the head, so it's not like I've set the happy bar super high. Still, in a romance novel (even a terrible, horrible, no-good, bad one) it's probably best if I aim a little higher.

But that's totally do-able, right? I can just treat it like a little mini NaNoWriMo or something.

Just as soon as I come down from my World Series high. Which I'm sure will be happening any minute now.

(Narrator: It would not be happening any minute now.)

Tune in Wednesday to see if I can score a mini NaNoWriMo win before I take on the main event...

(Also, congrats on a terrific season, Boston!)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Hooray For Partial Credit

Hello, all!

It's the first of October, so you are in for an action-packed post. Today, I shall be reviewing how I did with the goals I set for myself last month (and based on the title of this post, I'm guessing you have some idea of how things went) and setting some new goals for the current month.

Like I said, action packed.

First up, last month's goals...

1. Publish Second Nature

This is where that whole partial credit thing comes in because I (deep breath......another deep breath........and one more for safety.......) half did this.

And now I am seriously freaking out because I admitted it. (So many issues. So little time.)

True to MJ fashion, the paperback is now available. The e-book, however, is not. This happened with the last book, too. Apparently, it's just going to be a thing with me. But yeah. The paperback has been released into the wild. Here's proof:

I'm trying to get the e-book out into the world, but I seem to be struggling with the formatting. There are a few lingering issues I haven't yet ironed out. I think I've fixed everything, but then it turns out that not only did I not fix things, I managed to break a few things more. And so on and so forth.


I'm working on it.

But, yeah. That happened.

2. Finish the first draft of Vinnie & Ellie

Nope. Didn't achieve this goal. I am getting closer to the end, but I didn't make enough progress to even award myself with partial credit here. My brother and I did, however, brainstorm a potential legitimate title for this project. So, that's exciting. Ish. But regardless of what it's called in the end, it will always be the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Bad Romance Novel to me.

3. Finish the first draft of Retail Rhapsody

Didn't quite achieve this goal, either. The poems are somewhat organized now, and I have a clearer idea of what this project should maybe look like, so I feel okay awarding myself with some partial credit here. Here's what the layout storyboard looks like for this project. It looks a little different now, but you'll get the general idea.

4. Walk, run, or bike at least three miles per day

At long last! A goal I actually completed! I don't know why I add 'run' or 'bike' to that list because I don't do either these days, but walking—yeah, I did that. In my house, with my air conditioner running, to protect me know, Florida.

Some days, I even walked more than three miles.

Because that's how I roll.

On an unrelated side note, is anyone else super psyched
for next year's Veronica Mars revival on Hulu?

All right...October Goals.

1. Release Second Nature's e-book editions

Place your bets now to see how long this will take!

2. Finish the first draft of Vinnie & Ellie

Wait a minute...that sounds familiar.

3. Finish the first draft of Retail Rhapsody

So does this. Hmmm.

4. Log at least three miles per day

Ha! That one's different. No more running or biking for me! Woo Hoo!

And on that possibly very sad note, I am outta here. Those e-books won't format themselves. (I know because I've been unsuccessfully waiting for that to happen...)

Did you make any goals for October?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

When Plotters Pants (An IWSG Post)

Hey, everyone!

It's the first Wednesday of the month (at least I think it is. I didn't miss it again, did I?), which means that it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group.

I am assuming that anyone who stops by today is already well-versed with the IWSG, but if you happen to be new and have no idea what I'm talking about, please click on the above link for more information and/or a complete list of participants.

This month's co-hosts are: Toi Thomas, T. Powell Colton, Tara Tyler, and some weirdo who calls herself M.J. Fifield.

In other IWSG news, the judges for the latest anthology contest will be announced on the site today, so stop by there for the big reveal...

All right. This month's (optional) question asks, "What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?"

But as I feel as though I have waxed poetical on this subject many times before, I'm going to skip it this time around. Let me just say that whatever path you decide to take/decided to take, you are awesome and I applaud you!

So, instead, I thought I might ramble about this problem that I'm having with a current WIP. The WIP in question is this terrible, horrible, no-good, bad romance novel that goes by the working title Vinnie & Ellie because I can't think of anything else to call it besides the terrible, horrible, no-good bad romance novel. (M.J. Fifield: marketing genius...)

This WIP has been mentioned on My Pet Blog from time to time, most recently this past Monday when I listed it among my goals for September. I'm going to finish the first draft this month, I claimed, but there's just one slight problem...


I am a plotter. I plot. A not-insignificant amount of wall space (interesting side note: auto-correct keeps correcting 'wall space' to 'allspice', which is funny because I have no idea what one would do with allspice except to, you know, spice something.) in my office is devoted to big, semi-elaborate storyboards on which I plot out whatever WIP I'm currently writing before I start writing it and/or while I'm writing it. I'm sure you've seen many photos of said storyboards because the only thing I apparently like to do more than create storyboards on any wall that will hold still long enough is to take pictures of those boards and post them all over social media.

But Vinnie and Ellie are refusing to go along with the program. Probably because I created them and pretty much any character I create is stubborn, sarcastic, and has serious problems with authority (I wonder why that is...).

And because they're refusing to go along with the program, I'm left to write this novel by the seat of my pants, and I don't know how to do that. I need a plot, a plan, a story map—something! I have no idea how I'm supposed to just make it up as I go along.

I swear, every other line in this novel is my narrator lamenting that she has no idea what's going on, and that's really me lamenting that I have no idea what's going on.

But I'm so close to the end.

At least I think I am. It's not like I have any big, semi-elaborate storyboards on which to keep track of such things.

*glares menacingly at stubborn characters who flip her off in return*

So, all you pantsers (haha—auto-correct keeps making you into panthers. It's possible I'm too easily amused.) out there—hit me with your tips. How do you do it? What's your secret? Mellow jazz, bongo drums, huge bag of weed? (Name! That! Reference!)

Help a plotter out?

That's gonna do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Back In The Saddle Again

Hey, everyone!

The summer is officially over, so I am back to work. Not that I'm ever not working on some aspect of a writing project, but August is traditionally my least productive month (which is quite the statement when you consider how unproductive I am at any given point in time...). Usually, that's because my family invades my house during this month and I am relegated to only doing whatever I can work on while sitting on a beach (rough life, I know). This time around, however, my family did not visit, so The Man and I were left to our own devices. (Fear that.) He had taken time off from his job in anticipation of our company, so we had a staycation experience, which included day trips to St. Augustine, Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge to see the manatees, and a visit to Harry Potter World in Orlando. I love Harry Potter World. I love it so much, I'm even willing to deal with the crowds...and y'all know how I feel about people.

Anyway, the point is August was not my most productive month ever, so I'm going to be paying for it this month as I set out to accomplish some very big things.

And today, I'm going to tell you what those things are.

Here, without any further ado, are my goals for September...

1. Publish Second Nature

This book has been sitting around, gathering dust, as I'm apparently seeking to break some weird world record for longest time a finished book has been sitting around just waiting to be published. I don't know what's wrong with me (besides, you know, everything...), but maybe this month will be the month I finally get over that last hurdle.

2. Finish the first draft of Vinnie & Ellie

If you're not familiar with this WIP, Vinnie & Ellie is this terrible, horrible, no-good, bad romance novel I started writing a million years ago (all right, fine, nine years ago) and only last year decided to pull out of the Unfinished Projects file in an attempt to, you know, finish it. Well, it took nine years, but I finally feel as though the ending might actually be in sight now, and I am making a big push to finish this book this month. I'm a little worried, though, because this book poses my great writing challenge yet...a happy ending.

3. Finish first draft of Retail Rhapsody

Retail Rhapsody, if you're unfamiliar with this WIP, is a compilation of all those sarcastic haikus I composed about my retail experience. You may have seen some of them posted here on this blog, or on various other social media sites. Well, I am putting them all into a book. Or, at least that's the plan. I don't know how it'll turn out. The illustrations are going to be amazing—I'll tell you that much, but the whole thing is an experiment. Anyway, the goal here it to get all the poems in one place and organized in some kind of order that makes sense. Not that anything that comes out of my head makes sense, but I'll see what I can do.

4. Walk, run, or bike at least 3 miles per day

I have utterly failed at this goal this year, and I feel as though my inactivity is taking its toll. So this month, I shall attempt to be more active. Given how much sitting-at-my-desk time I have scheduled, I'll certainly need it.

All right, so that's my September. And now that I see it all laid out before me, I have absolutely no idea how I'll pull it all off. I can't, however, wait to find out...

What's on your agenda this month?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Character Truth or Dare (A Tempting Friendship Post)

Hello, everyone!

Today, we're turning My Pet Blog over to author extraordinaire, Patricia Lynne, who has a brand-new book (Tempting Friendship) coming out TOMORROW.

She's here today to introduce the main characters and engage them in a little Truth or Dare fun...

Take it away, Patricia!


I thought it’d be fun to torment Quinn and Keane (mostly Quinn, probably) with a game of truth of dare. I figured it might be safer if I asked the questions instead of letting them and risking them bickering like an old married couple.

Okay, Quinn, Keane, are you ready for a little fun?
Quinn eyes Keane: I’m not sure.
Keane pokes Quinn: Come on, you know this will be fun.
Maybe with someone else, Quinn replies. I’m not sure I trust you to tell you my secrets.
Enough stalling. On to the game. Keane, truth or dare?
Keane: Dare.
Quinn ponders a moment. Put peanut butter on your nose and try to lick it off.
Keane. Done! Grabs some peanut butter and smears it on his nose. He squints as he tries to reach it. Almost. He tries again. I tasted some. He gives up and looks at Quinn. I think you’re going to have to lick it off for me.
Or you can use a napkin. Now, Quinn, truth of dare.
Quin: Truth.
Keane grins.
If Keane could do whatever you wanted to do, what would it be?
Quinn cocks her head. I’d have Keane get rid of all the headphones he has. Seriously, how many do you need?
Keane: They all sound different and some are better for music than others and a few are good for online gaming.
Quinn: Then keep those ones and get rid of the rest. You have, like, twenty. That’s not an exaggeration. I counted one day.
My hubby is the same. He has a few different pairs. Back to Keane, since you did dare, this time you have to do a truth. As an incubus, have you ever had bad sex?
Keane: You’ll be surprised, but yes. It wasn’t for a feeding though. It’s hard to screw that up. But when I was first forced here after the collapse and I had my first physical sexual encounter, I honestly wasn’t sure what to do with my legs and I accidentally kneed Geralt in the balls so hard we had to stop so he could recover.
Quinn fights not to laugh.
Keane: You’re laughing now, but you’re forgetting, you have to do a dare.
Quinn goes silent.
All right Quinn, here’s your dare. Whisper something in Keane’s ear that will turn him on.
Quinn blushes. Give me a minute to think.
Keane rolls his eyes. Come on. I’m not that difficult, am I?
Quinn: I got it. She leans close to Keane and begins whispering.
Keane listens with a smirk, then his eyebrows raise, and his mouth drops open. When she finishes, he leans back to look at her. You are naughty.
Quinn shrugs. I may not be sexually active, but I know what it takes to get a guy going.
I don’t think I should ask what Quinn said. It sounds like it wasn’t PG at all. Thanks for behaving and playing. Keane, I think I have a gold star for you somewhere.
Keane: Bonus!


At first, Quinn isn’t impressed by Keane. He’s cocky and has sex on the brain. The polar opposite of her. Despite their differences, something blossoms between the two. 

Never one to take things seriously, Keane is an incubus coasting through life without a care. When he meets Quinn, her lack of reaction to him piques his interest. No human has ever been able to resist him. 

As Keane and Quinn struggle to understand what is going on between them, something sinister rocks their world. Young incubi are vanishing, and Keane's friends go missing. Someone is after his kind. When Quinn is kidnapped, Keane must uncover who is behind the abductions and get to her before it's too late.

Available From the Following Retailers:

About The Author

Patricia never set out to become a writer, and in fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was more of an art and band geek. Some stories are meant to be told, and now she can't stop writing.

She writes New Adult under the name Patricia Josephine and Young Adult under the name Patricia Lynne.
Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Find her online:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Halfway Point

Wait...what's this? A second post in the same month? Why, that's just crazy.

But let's do it anyway.

So, when the calendar gets to about the halfway point of the year, I like to take a look back at the goals I set in January to see how it's going. (Hint: usually not well.) Often I'm early with this post, but this year I'm running behind. Which is kind of the theme of 2018.

But, at the very least, I have made some sort of measurable progress on everything.

The Writing Goals

The biggest goal in this category is to publish Second Nature. That obviously hasn't happened yet, but as you may have seen on social media, progress has been made. Look! Proof copies!

The only thing standing in the way of publication is the completion of the ebook formatting, and the only thing standing in the way of that is simply me procrastinating on getting it finished. Or, you know, started. But I'm working on it. Kind of. I mean, I haven't been working on it at all. But I will. Soon. Probably...I'm hoping to get my act together and get this book out in the world by the end of the month. Or, if failing that, the end of the summer. Or the year. Or next year...

The other three writing projects on my radar this year are still in the works, but they are in the works, and I'm super excited by them. I've been strangely productive lately (on those projects, anyway. Maybe not so much with the ebook formatting...). Who knows how long it'll last, but I hope to take full advantage of it while it's around.

The Reading Goal

I intend to read 52 books this year. I was doing well for a while there, but that's kind of come to a grinding halt. But hey, I just checked in with Goodreads, and apparently, I'm on track. Which is a nice surprise. I seriously thought I'd be way behind. Good for me!

The Fitness Goal

The goal is to log an average of 4.10 miles per day. As of yesterday, I have logged 623 miles, which only sounds impressive until you realize I was supposed to have logged 787 miles by now. So, yeah. I'm a little behind. But I could be behind by a whole heck of a lot more.

What Else Is Going On

—I volunteered to give a presentation to a local writers group this Saturday. That's right. I was, like, "Hey, I'll totally talk in front of people! I love talking in front of people!" Could someone please check to see if there have been reports of pod people in Florida?

—While The Man was watching The NeverEnding Story last night, I was reading that there's a film studio-type place in Germany (where they filmed the movie, perhaps?) where you can actually ride Falcor. I don't know if this is true, but if it is, I so want to do that.

—Also, thirty-four years later, I still can't watch the Swamp of Sadness scene in that damn movie. It's just too damn sad. Says the author who gleefully giggles every time she devises a new way to torture her characters.

—Speaking of torturing characters, this weekend marked the one-year anniversary of the conception of the Shiny Potentially Devastating-to-Readers (all five of them...) Storyline for Book Three in my fantasy series. I tip my hat to my brother for all his help in devising it. I'm really looking forward to one day finishing the book so I can test that storyline with the betas.

And on that note, I'm going to call it quits for the day. Thanks for stopping by, and maybe I'll see you next week. Or next month. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Do Your Thing (An IWSG Post)

Hey, everyone! It's the first Tuesday of the month, and tomorrow's an American holiday, so that means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group!

(For more information or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link...)

I totally spaced on last month's installment. This blog has really become a ghost town filled with nothing but dust and tumbleweed. Oops. I shall henceforth attempt to do better...but will probably end up disappearing after this post until next month. Which is never the intention, but just kind of the way things have been going this year.

Anyway...This month's awesome co-hosts are: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne.

This month's (optional) question asks, "What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?"

Which I found to be an interesting question, so I am going to ramble at length about it now. Let's see where we end up, shall we?

So, okay. I think, when my writing first started to transition from hobby to career, I was very concerned with what an author was supposed to do. There were certain hoops that I thought an aspiring author-type person was supposed to jump through that would lead to becoming an actual author-type person, rather than an aspiring one.

(Aside: though I am using it here, I am not a huge fan of qualifying 'author' or 'writer' with adjectives such as 'aspiring'. If you write, you are a writer. If you write, you are an author. You may not be published, or have a book on a best sellers list somewhere, but you can and should still call yourself an author. End aside.)

And this is not me saying that there isn't merit to following such a path and jumping through those hoops or whatever. There are a great many authors who have found success in that traditional way, and I salute them. I firmly believe that everyone should choose the path that is right for them. What I am saying is that at any point in time in my life when I attempt to do what I am supposed to do, it more often than not leads to me really struggling to do that thing.

Take college, for example. I went to college right after high school because that's what I was supposed to do. I attempted to major in music and English because that's what I was supposed to do, and it took me six years to earn a four-year degree because I didn't have a clue who I was or what I wanted to do. I was trying to cram myself into a mold in which I just didn't fit. For that reason, my first three years of college were, quite simply, a disaster. I would have been better served had I taken some time off after high school to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with my life and what exactly I wanted to get out of my college education.

Now, back to writing.

So yeah. When I started, I feel like I was too focused on what I thought I was supposed to do. And that's changed. These days, I'm more about doing what won't make me miserable. I want to write stories that make me happy (or as happy as I ever am with anything I ever write...). I want to please myself. If other people happen to like my books, then that's okay. If they hate my books, that's okay, too.

To each their own.

Last year (or possibly two years ago), I gave a talk at a public library. One of the questions I received afterward was about my level of success—was I successful?—and I had to consider it for a moment. In terms of number of books sold, I am not successful. I will likely never be able to support myself on my writing alone. In terms of number of readers, I am not successful. You can count my readers on two hands. Possibly even one. I am not on any best sellers lists. I am not on any lists anywhere. I am not anything that would traditionally be counted as successful.

But is that how I view success?

Truth is, it's not.

Authors are all different. We have different goals; we have different measures of success—and that's fantastic. If your goal is to sell 1,000,000 copies of your novel, that's awesome. If your goal is to sell the rights to your novel to a major movie studio, that's awesome. If your goal is to simply write your memoir to pass down to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, that's awesome. I applaud you.

Yes, my career would be better served if I was more invested in sales rankings and marketing and all of that. But I'm not. That has never really been my goal—and probably never will be my goal—because it makes me miserable, and as has been previously stated, I strive to make myself as not miserable as possible as much as possible.

My goal with Effigy was to make one person (preferably someone not related to me) stay up all night to read my story because that's what I love most about reading. That moment when a book grabs me and renders me incapable of doing anything else? I freaking love that feeling, and I wanted to affect a reader the way that some books, some authors, have affected me.

And not to be braggy or anything, but I achieved that goal. Twice, actually. Twice, readers (neither of which were related to me in any way, shape, or form) contacted me to tell me that they had stayed up all night to read my story because they just couldn't bring themselves to put it down.

Which felt great. Well, in the moment it was utterly terrifying because interacting with humans is something at which I do not excel, but afterward, in the privacy of my own home, it felt great. I achieved what I set out to do.

Everything else is gravy.

So I guess the point is that we should never allow anyone to define success for us. We can only do that for ourselves. As my good friend, Tina Fey, says, "Do your thing and don't care if they like it."

I feel as though I've gotten away from the original question and point of this post (or as much as of a point as any of my posts ever have...) which I know never, ever happens on this blog. I probably could have just said that I want to write the books I want to write, and left it at that.

Once a rambler, always a rambler, I guess. 

Anyway, that's my opinion. We welcome yours.

Thanks for stopping by today. If you're celebrating tomorrow, please do so responsibly. It's all fun and games until someone loses a finger in a fireworks accident.