Is it Over Yet?

2020. Is it Over Yet?

Please continue to stand with me in prayer for those who have lost loved ones and suffer from job loss. We should never forget the regular daily hardships not related to COVID-19.

Our lives are in Your hands, Lord.

Writing. I’ve been writing and drawing. A shock, I know.

We’ve adjusted to remote learning. It will be hard for my youngest to return to in-person teaching.

Oops, back to writing.

I’ve been editing Night into Day but ran into a huge problem. Now I have to do some rewriting. While I sort things out with that story, I’ve worked on the first one-sentence outline for an anime-style story from years ago. Also, my dragon story has been floating around in my dreams.

The picture book isn’t scrapped, but it is on hold. Though I’m not consistent, I’m trying to draw every day to improve. Watching artists like WLOP and others on YouTube is so inspiring.

So, what are you working on right now?

Let’s talk.

Pulse of Light

Pulse of Light

The day has finally come. Pulse of Light is now available for purchase on Amazon (other venues to come).

This book is a little longer than my previous books, but it is still designed (short chapters) for young readers who don’t like to read. I hope that they immerse themselves in the adventure and get a hunger for reading.

Thanks for walking this journey with me.

My projects now are writing/illustrating a children’s book and rewriting Night into Day.

What projects are you starting or completing?

Let’s talk!

Back cover blurb:

Pratt Hunter attends Bradley Military Academy for one reason—destroy the Metronoids. The robotic aliens robbed him of his family when he was ten, and he’s angry at God for allowing it to happen. Now that Pratt’s sixteen and able to fight, he wants revenge and will achieve it—on his own.

Ivy Graham’s father has invented the machine that will neutralize the enemy. Unable to reach her father, Ivy needs to finish what he started—only she can’t do it alone. Did God put Pratt in Ivy’s life to teach her patience or show the cadet He is their only hope?

Will Pratt and Ivy be able to work together to save the earth?

Time is running out.

Amazon – https://rb.gy/sn9chr

Busy Bee

I pray all of you are well.

The last few months have been hard. Friends are dealing with losing loved ones, family members are struggling, and of course, there’s COVID-19.

I’m praying…and praying some more.

I’ve been a busy bee. (Yikes! Do people still say that?!)

Pulse of Light is SO close to being done. It’s been in the hands of beta readers. Now, I’m waiting on the last one before working on final edits. I’m excited and nervous.

Night into Day is getting an overhaul. The story can go in so many directions. I’m not sure which road to take. The best thing for me to do is to write it out and see where it goes.

I’ve also been drawing. Creating illustrations based on my stories has been… I don’t even know… Awesome! They are far from professional and have a ton of flaws (don’t look too closely), but they are mine.

Last year, the illustrations would have been made of stick figures. I still haven’t found “my style” yet. Do I even have to have a specific way of drawing? The beauty of art is expressing yourself any way you can. If I can figure it out, I will post my latest work.

My goal for today—work on Night into Day. What about you? What are your plans?

Let’s talk!

Night into Day – Rowan and Hudson
Night into Day – Hudson’s den
Whisper Willows – Max and Tally

***Future self. I didn’t complete my goal of working on Night into Day. But, it’s a new day! 🙂

What Makes Me A Writer?

I was recently asked, “What makes you a writer?” My response, “Writing.”

It’s true, I haven’t sold or published any books in the last year or so, but that doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything.

A few weeks ago, I finished edits for the Pulse of Light timeline problem. I was so excited. It was one of those moments when you say, “I’m done!” Then look for someone to share the moment with, but you’re alone. Still excited, I commenced with the dance for joy—literally. It was tedious work. (The editing, not the dancing. Although, the dancing was probably scary to watch). Now the next phase of work has begun—more edits.

No one sees the time spent working to make the stories the best they can be. That’s okay. We don’t watch clothing designers brainstorm and then design our clothes. The result means the most to the customer. We want consumers to embrace and enjoy our creations. The road to get there is ours to walk.

I may never sell millions of books. Then again, I could sell billions. I believe my stories would make excellent movies. (Any producers out there? Call me!)

Writing is hard. But knowing my stories may touch someone’s life, even if for a moment—is worth it.

What makes me a writer? Writing.

What are you?

Let’s talk!

Let’s Get This Party Started

January is almost over already! (One more day to go.)

I’ve been busy critiquing, editing, and drawing. For Christmas, I purchased several Udemy Courses—using Procreate and drawing characters. Lots of lessons to go through, but I am learning tons. YouTube is helping me develop skills as well. I subscribe to the Art with Flo channel. She is amazing. Some of my Udemy sketches and drawings from following Flo’s tutorials and Instagram will make an appearance on this website. 🙂

ProWritingAid and Grammarly continue to help improve my writing skills. After resolving the timeframe issue with Pulse of Light, I will tackle the pronoun problem. It will be a challenge. Half the manuscript may be gone.

It would be great to get Pulse of Light in the hands of Beta readers this year, but I’m not going to rush it. A polished product is the goal.

What’s happening with you?

Let’s talk!

The End of the Year is Upon Us (Did You Accomplish Your Goals?)

The end of the year is here. How’d things go?

I spent half of the year helping my eldest finish his college journey and the other working on Pulse of Light. I’ve learned so much about self-editing and using strong writing tools.

Grammarly and ProWritingAid were a great help. After I take care of the timeline issues, I will run the manuscript through both programs several times—then read it again…and again.

Even though I haven’t started any new projects, this year has been a successful one. I grew as a writer with more to learn.

How did your writing journey do this year? If you didn’t get as far as you’d like, take a breath and begin thinking about what you can do to accomplish some goals.

Let’s talk!

PS: When writing this post, the first sentence was – I can’t say that the year has flow by as it seems like a blur. Do you see the issues? Grammarly and ProWritingAid missed them. This is why it’s important to read through things ourselves as well. Nothing is perfect.

Maybe too Ambitious?

Maybe too Ambitious?

So, you know how I mentioned a few months ago that I have been trying to improve my drawing skills? Well…I was going through some older files and found several picture book stories I had written a long time ago.

I reread my favorite ones and thought, “I wonder if I could illustrate them myself.”

I worked on character concepts—that part was easy. Then I did a rough sketch of the pages. Storyboarding is also a breeze and fun. Now I am trying to do basic landscaping and designs. Yeah…this is the opposite of easy.

Professionals spend years creating impressive art, and I thought I could do it over several months. WRONG! I am NOT throwing in the towel just yet. Learning and facing challenges is how we grow and improve.

Editing Pulse of Light is my first priority, but I will continue to work on the illustrations for the picture books. The project of illustrating a picture book may be too ambitious. However, it is well worth it. If anything, whether I fail or succeed, I will grow as an artist and in patience.

What are you working on? Are you challenging yourself?

Let’s talk!

And the “Things to Fix” List Keeps Growing

Buying Grammarly was a wise purchase. There were so many mistakes found in my current WIP, even after my fantastic critique group had gone through it. Right now, Siri is reading each chapter, and I’m catching more issues—time and date conflicts, scientific believability, and inconsistencies.

The list of things to fix is growing (haven’t even ran it through ProWritingAid yet), and it is easy to get discouraged—and at times, I am. However, finding mistakes is a good thing. It’s better to catch all of these problems now, right? Yes.

Editing is how we continue to learn and grow.

How do you feel about editing? Do you enjoy it, or do you dread it? What’s your editing routine?

Let’s talk!

Grammarly and ProWritingAid

Grammarly and ProWritingAid—Are they helpful?

Yes, most of the time.

I’ve recently purchased subscriptions to both editors. Both are free if used online but with limitations. Grammarly doesn’t show all errors unless you have a subscription. ProWritingAid only allows 500 words per session.

They both offer great features to help improve writing skills. Features for Grammarly include – critical grammar and spelling checks, conciseness, readability, vocabulary enhancement suggestions, and genre-specific writing style checks. (Underlined offered for free.) ProWritingAid has – in-depth reports, style, grammar, overused words, clichés, sticky words, repeats, combo, length, pronoun, alliteration, transition, and a thesaurus.

Why do I use them?

I’ll be honest, I love creating stories, but my punctuation and sentence structure skills are lacking. Most of the errors found through the critique group are punctuation and sentence structure related. Even after edits, Grammarly and ProWritingAid found areas to tighten.

As I continue to use the editors, my critique submissions and the final product will be a lot more enjoyable to read.

Be careful!

Be cautious in accepting the recommendations given in the generated reports—sometimes they’re way off point. Grammarly allows you to note that the suggestion is wrong. I haven’t found that feature in ProWritingAid. I’m new to using the editors. There’ve been several times when one editor will instruct me to remove a comma and the other to put it back. Grrr.

If you‘re uncertain about a suggestion, please check with someone who knows her/his grammar rules. Do your research as well.

So, should you buy the subscriptions?

Maybe. Try the online versions first. They may be all you need.

If you already use them, what are your thoughts?

Let’s talk.

PS: NOT SPONSORED.

A Change of Plans?

I have been working on the edits for Pulse of Light. However, I was recently approached and asked to write 18 episodes for a children’s DVD series…I accepted.

Part of me wants to set aside the edits and focus only on the DVD series, but I don’t believe that’s what I’m supposed to do.

My goal is to continue working on edits and write the episodes. I will need to develop a schedule. I normally don’t do well when I have several projects on my plate. This will be a challenge.

Are you able to handle more than one task? If so, how? Seriously, I would like to know. If not, is it time to step out of your comfort zone?

Let’s talk. 🙂