cloudsriser: (water touched)
My last post I shared a dream I had. There were more details to that dream, but I'm not going to share them. What I am going to talk about, is how from that single element from the dream turns into a full length novel.

That's how I create. I get a small tidbit of an idea. A tiny moment that might seem insignificant in nature, and turn it into something bigger. Most of my ideas come to me at random. My inspiration doesn't come from watching a favorite TV show or reading a well written book. Those things certainly give me an appreciation for storytelling, and I might get ideas on how I can tell my own stories. The ideas that I concoct, however, come from another place.

I call them divine musings. There's no other way to describe it. I'm almost positive my brain was pieced together to do this. To create something from nothing. To get deep here, it's part of the reason God is real to me. Coincidences are only coincidences a certain number of times before I have to start wondering if it's fate. In order for there to be fate, there has to be a greater power. But I don't want to get on a big ramble about all of that just now.

The question I get asked the most is: Where do your ideas come from? Each time I get asked, I struggle with how to answer. Saying a dream isn't quite right. My ideas come from more than a dream. They just...poof...into my mind. Okay? POOF! I couldn't stop it even if I tried. Any time I've stopped writing, the ideas still come, and they don't leave until I deal with them appropriately. I have a massive list of stories to be told. Some of them, I end up combining into more massive adventures than I originally intended. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. For every one book I release, there's another five I tried and failed at.
cloudsriser: (Default)
Had a dream last night about a guy who could unlock any safe. For whatever reason, because of this ability a family owned bakery wants to hire him on for extra help.

That's about as far is it went, but I want to write it down and save it for future reference.
cloudsriser: (Default)
I'm struggling with writing. Even coming up with a blog post topic was hard for me, because I'm just not writing at the moment. It. Sucks.

I could go through all the ways one gets out of writer's block. Honestly, there isn't a magical trick to it. It just kind of happens after trying a few different things until one method hopefully sticks. What might work for me, won't work for someone else, and what might work for me, might only work on that particular cycle of the moon with that specific planetary alignment.

Not writing is hard. On the one hand, I get a break from using my brain and my house gets cleaner and I work out more as I try to find ways to avoid actually writing. On the other hand, I get frustrated and trapped within my own brain. That is what it feels like: being trapped inside of my brain. The way my brain works is why I'm pretty sure all true writers are considered weird, because there is no way I'm the only person who goes through this.

And when I say true writers, I mean those who are called to the craft. I know a lot of fantastic writers who are called to other walks of life, so it's not about talent or lack of or even lack of ideas. It's just that calling, and some people are called to it for only a season - to write that one epic story inside of them before going off to change the world in another way. Then there are those who are called to constantly share different parts of their soul by way of various stories. Who aren't ever supposed to stop for fear of losing their sanity and joy.

I consider myself one of those individuals. By all means, I'm not the most talented individual. My ideas might not even be all that great. If I stop writing, though? I'm going to feel hollow. Even if nothing comes of it, I need to do this.

But I'm not writing, thus I feel trapped. There is no real reason for me to not be writing. I'm just not doing it. My prison is my own doing at this point. I only have my own stubbornness to blame. Perhaps I'll figure out this mystery. Hopefully, soon.
cloudsriser: (Default)
I have a lot of editor friends and they're always griping about how authors don't do enough self-editing and all that jazz. When I edit for other people, I get this complaint because there are some errors I see where I go: "Really? Really author? How did you not notice this?"

Then I remember, I need to be gentle about these sorts of things. I remember the comments I got on old manuscripts that frustrated me and made me cry because I wanted to tell my editor: "Please, understand, I'm not trying to make you miserable!"

Here's the truth: Self-editing is hard.

First of all, from personal experience, I was never trained in all of the complicated rules of grammar. There were a number that were left out of my school curriculum because grammar has, essentially, turned into a crash course unit that's given in about a week, maybe two. As education shifts and changes, so does the way our storytellers produce their tales. Style is constantly changing and has over the centuries.

It is important for authors of the future to learn the rules of grammar, listen to their editors, and understand the craft that they are working in. Be open to learning and expanding. It is also important for those who do know the rules to be patient, not condescending, and willing to share their knowledge so future storytellers are not snuffed out because they are turned away from their art.

The second reason self-editing is hard? That moment when an author has spent hours upon hours, days upon days, months upon months, and sometimes even years, staring at that story trying to figure out all of the spots where it needs to be cleaned up before it even makes it to an editor. Words start to blur together, and the whole things feels like a mass of gibberish. In that moment, the author must choose: Keep trying, put it in a drawer until they can stand to look at it again, or say "I did my best, and now it's at the mercy of the gods."

Honestly, I do feel bad for my editors. I know that I could do a lot better. I promise, I'm not lazy, and I am trying my best to learn and grow and fix it myself too. Every day, I grow a little bit more in what I do, and get a tiny bit better at finding my mistakes. I look back at things I wrote ten years ago and am amazed at just how far I've come. So yes, editors, I am sorry that my book is always a mess. Possibly even a train wreck level of one. I'm sorry. I respect you and what you do. I value you and every grueling hour you put in looking at my work. I thank you for going to such great lengths to make my work be anything close to resembling amazing.

Please, just understand that it isn't a mess on purpose. That's all I ask, and to be patient and kind as you help me to continue to get better.
cloudsriser: (Default)
For those of you participating in The Romance Reviews Event, here is where you'll find the answer to my Q&A. It's hidden in the chapter below. Happy reading!

Bailey

I vaguely remember Nila leaving the room. The door closed a few minutes after I gave her my money and phone. From there, I fell asleep for about an hour and a half and woke up with a massive sleep hangover. I stayed on the couch for a while, trying to will myself to get off it and do something. Finding Nila should have been my priority, but for the life of me I couldn't get myself to move at a pace faster than a snail. She was an adult, she was fine, I had to hold onto that. I didn't get any vibes that she was going to leave. Then again, maybe she was acting so compliant so she could screw me over later.

Blinking, trying to get the sleep out of my eyes, I reached for the phone to dial my cell phone. It rang a number of times, and I was positive I'd get my voice mail. She ditched. The phone is in the hotel lobby. Crap, what was I thinking, taking a break?

At the last second, the phone picked up. “H-hello?”

“Nila,” I said, letting out a sigh of relief. “Where you at?”

“The pool,” she said. “I got a suit at the gift shop.”

The pool. She'd be showing a great deal of skin and exuding magic at crazy levels. Great...

“Bailey?” she asked. “You still there?”

“Yeah, just thinking. Stay there and I'll come on down to hang with you. Busy down there?”

She laughed. “No, there's one family in the shallow end.”

“Oh, awesome.” I relaxed. A family who was far away from her. “Be there soon.”

“You don't –”

I hung up. I'd just pretend I didn't hear her when I saw her later. Because I did have to go down to watch her. After buying swim trunks and changing in the room upstairs, I finally made my way to the pool. My stomach dropped. Sitting in the hot tub with Nila were four different guys. Two were near my age, give or take a couple of years in either direction, and the other two were close to being twice hers. Also in the hot tub were two young ladies who were paired up with the twenty-something guys. I knew this because they glared at Nila as their men paid more attention to her than them. It didn't help matters that Nila was wearing a bikini. Not a g-string thing, yet she might as well have been wearing nothing with how much raw, potent, sex appeal she exuded. I could seriously see it coming off of her in soft, fuchsia wisps. The joys of being a magical being.

“Oh boy,” I mumbled, pinching the bridge of my nose. I tossed my towel onto an empty chair and stepped into the hot tub, going to the first empty spot I could find.

Nila gazed over at me, blushing. Totally knew she'd have that reaction once she saw my sexy abs. Either that, or she was embarrassed for being caught in a tub full of guys fawning over her. Maybe a mixture of the two caused the soft pink to spread across her cheeks. She certainly didn't look my way for long.

“I told you, you didn't have to come down,” she said to me.

I laughed. “What? I'm not allowed to unwind? My back happens to be killing me. Unless of course you want to give me a massage later tonight in the room.”

“You haven't been all too nice to me today, so I'm not sure you deserve one,” she shot back.

“I'll give you one,” Jealous Girlfriend Number One, said instantly. She moved closer to me and put her hand on my thigh. “I'm a masseuse.”

“You failed massage school,” one of the guys quipped. My guess was Jealous Boyfriend. He put an arm around Nila. She bristled under his touch, shifting away and into the other guy. Her gaze lifted to him, he grinned, and she moved away all together.

The second guy grabbed her by the arm. “What? You're leaving? I thought we were going to all hang out and get drinks at the bar?”

“Never agreed to that,” she said with the sweetest of smiles, batting her eyelashes at him. More fuchsia mist rolled off of her and floated toward the guy. He took in a deep breath and his smile softened.

Sighing, he let go of her. “Fine, I can take a hint.” His gaze moved to me. “Treat her nicer.”

“I'll treat you nice,” Jealous Girlfriend Number Two said to me.

I gave both the ladies a polite smile before standing. “Babe, let's go get some dinner, and I'll make up for being a door knob earlier.”

“Thought you wanted to soak because you're so sore,” Nila chided.

“I'd rather be with you,” I stated. In truth, I'd rather have stuck around in the hot tub. The thing was too crowded, though. No fun when other people were around. There was no way I'd be able to relax. By the end of the night there would either be a fight, or an invitation to some kind of bizarre orgy as the guys either got absorbed in their jealousy or started to find themselves attracted to me as well – or rather, attracted to my magic and thus getting confused. I, personally, did not want a black eye. Why couldn't I relax in peace?

For a moment, Nila stared at me, and I wondered if she was reading too much into my comment of preferring to be with her. She must have not heard of this thing called acting. My options were protective big brother, or possessive lover. We didn't exactly look alike seeing as how she's got skin a few shades darker and large pretty brown eyes and I was about as white as a sheet of paper in comparison. Adoption and a number of other options could explain those differences. Too much thinking, too much work. Boyfriend worked best.

I gave Nila my towel, wrapping it around her shoulders, encouraging her to cover up. Of all the stuff she brought down, she didn't think to grab one of those apparently. I put my hands on her covered shoulders and lead her toward the elevator.

“Why are you marching me out like I've done something wrong?” she asked.

“Because you need to go back to the room before someone does something stupid.”

“I'm not going to–”

I scoffed. “S-o not talking about you. Hocus pocus stuff, dear. Hocus pocus stuff.”

Scowling the entire way up to the room, she sat down on the couch and huffed at me. “So you're finally going to talk about what happened at the restaurant?”

“That and the hot tub.” I sat down on the opposite end from her. The fuchsia tendrils of magic still swirled around her, more potent than ever. Confusing. Perhaps her anger was setting it off.

“I didn't do anything to the guys at the hot tub! They came to me,” she protested.

The color of her magic deepened to a rich red. I'd never seen anything like it before. Sure, I'd seen traces of Muse magic during intense, emotional moments. Puck, for example, had a deep, hunter, green magic to him. I'd yet to see mine, but I've been told it's a bright royal blue. Cayenne had an exotic gold, and some of the other muses in the house were in such good control over their magic it had yet to make a physical manifestation. Never had I seen so much of it running wild, nor have I ever seen it change color.

Grabbing a new towel from the bathroom, I finished drying off and tried to not let her defensive attitude chip away at my patience. “You don't realize you did anything. I'm not mad, but it does provide a good example as to why you need to be careful.”

“But I –”

“I know, I know, if you'll let me talk, I can tie this all together.” I wrapped the towel over my shoulders. “Can you not see all the magic oozing out of you?”

Nila gazed down at her hands. “No, nothing out of the ordinary going on from what I can tell. I don't look or feel different.”

“Gotcha.” Perhaps Muses couldn't see their own magic after all.

“So you're saying I bewitched them?”

I sat down on the couch. “Not on purpose.” The more she spoke, the more I kept losing my train of thought. I struggled with finding the right words to explain how magic worked as it was. “Believe it or not, you're pulsating with energy. Right now, it's red. Earlier it was fuchsia. It's circling around you. Normal people can't see it, you can't see it, but I can. If I lost control of myself, you would be able to see mine.”

“Can you?”

“Can I what?”

“Lose control of yourself?” She sucked on her lower lip. “You can tell me until the cows come home that magic is real, and that all the stuff from the restaurant and at the hot tub and wherever else is the result of using this magic. If I can't see it or touch it, then I don't believe in it.”
That got me to raise an eyebrow. “Sucks to be you then since some of the best things in life are the ones we can't prove.”

“If you say so.” She raked a few fingers through her tangled hair. “Can you not lose control of yourself?”

“Generally, I don't make a habit of doing so, no. It's something that happens based on instinct, usually during high emotions. I've never let it just float around and do it what it wants like you are doing now.” I took in a deep breath. “But I can try.” Because when I did want to, I knew how to call upon my magic in strong amounts. If she needed physical proof, I would give it to her.

Blogging?

Feb. 28th, 2017 03:32 pm
cloudsriser: (Default)
I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. I've said it before, it is not my specialty. That being said, I am determined to keep getting back on the horse. I think part of the problem is that I get nervous about sharing too many opinions on the internet. People get too opinionated, and then they get attacked for sharing those opinions that are supposedly trying to present themselves as facts, or just that they have the "wrong" opinion in general.

So, I'll just say this right now: what I write here is usually going to be stream of consciousness OPINION and I will not try to pass that off as fact. If I talk about writing, I'll just state it how *I* see it, and I am fully aware that what I see and think and feel doesn't count for everyone.

And I'm okay with that, by the way. I'm okay if you don't hold the same thoughts as I do on the subject. There's one bit of blog going on about how writers shouldn't write so many books in a year because obviously that means they're not going to be very good. Opinion based on one writers experience. I'm not going to be writing things like that, or at least trying not to. Going on that same topic, though, I might say it's important to keep the quality up and that I've seen authors lose said quality by trying to put out books in a short turn-around period. Hey, I've done this myself and I am deeply ashamed of it. However, it is not my place to put a timeline on that for anyone.

See? Opinion, pure opinion. Pure stream of consciousness. Right now, those thoughts might be disjointed because I'm still recovering from a "traumatic" brain injury. Mild concussion thanks to a car accident, and just when I think I'm better, I wonder if I'm not. Having never had one of these before, I can't tell what is a result of the accident and what is just me being grumpy/tired/blech. Because I do get tired, grumpy, and especially hangry, often.

I had been a part of a blogging contest for a while, but I dropped out because I was feeling too disjointed and blech with my blogging abilities. However, the organizer of this contest did mention how continuing to exercise my brain in such a fashion might be beneficial to my recovery, so I don't want to give up blogging all together - and I did say I was going to try to be more connected with my audience. Still, part of why I dropped out is because it's hard for me to be able to think completely concretely and when it comes to things like contests I'm incredibly picky.

So this is me saying, yet again, that I am going to try to blog regularly. I'm not sure what about, and I'm not sure how this is going to go, or if I'll drop off the face of the planet - again. What I can say is that I'm going to try, and hopefully get back to thinking like a solid human being.

We'll see what happens, right? This is my first step into getting back to writing. It's been a lot harder to do than I originally anticipated.
cloudsriser: (Default)
Last night, I ended up oversleeping. However, this worked to my advantage because I had a dream that could very well turn into a story of sorts.

Earth is on the verge of being destroyed so a lot of people are communing in community centers and schools and what not. They're not quite sure how they're going to survive, but they plan on doing it together. A nameless female pre-teen takes in the sight of sleeping bags, stuffed animals, and worried adults trying to figure out how to make the best of a situation for all of the kids who have no clue what's happening.

She ends up outside right as the world is being destroyed. Meteors, but she calls them fire shooting dragons. One is going to destroy the building, but she is able to stop that from happening by creating wings of ice to shield and cool the area from getting unbearably hot.

Years pass and she adventures outside. An alien race is coming to pick up/aide the survivors of the community center. There is now an ocean within walking distance of the commune. Because of her random super abilities, she's able to swim in a way that most humans can't. She and her friend Koa end up going out to play in the water. Things take a wrong turn, though.

A strange pink energy captures them and drags them toward an alien ship. They are cleaned up, put into foreign clothes, and put in a room with other teenagers their age who are eating dinner silently. They're the latest additions to the zoo.

Would you read it?

#likeaboss

Feb. 15th, 2017 06:36 pm
cloudsriser: (Default)
I see this hashtag a lot: #likeaboss, and ya know, it's a good hashtag. Thing is, I don't want to just be like a boss. I want to BE the boss, so that's why I started #iamtheboss. What's the difference?

Being the boss means I'm getting it done. I don't pretend I have the power - I actually have it. Having the power is something we can all do even if we aren't technically "the boss". Which, I think is where #likeaboss comes from. Being the boss even if you aren't the "real" boss. However, just because we don't have the fancy official promotion doesn't change being a boss of our own lives.

So I'm using #iamtheboss. I'll probably still also use #likeaboss too, but for those of you who are wondering what that hashtag even means, there you go. I AM the boss. Literally and figuratively, and I'm not going to be ashamed of that!

Got a lot of big things coming up soon. I'll hopefully be able to share it all soon!
cloudsriser: (Default)
A boarding school on an island in the middle of nowhere plays home to the most prestigious minds. Prodigies in art, music, literature, math, and science abound, all set to change the world and become legends.

Bing is new, joining the students much later in life than what is considered normal. His presence shakes up the school's entire existence. Girls want him, guys want to be him, he's the very definition of cool, kind, and collected. Perfect in just about every way.

The catch: he's incredibly ordinary and average in everything he does.
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I got a new blog, again. Mostly because I wasn't sure what the future of Livejournal was going to be. Here is a test to see if the cross-posting features do in fact work.

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