It’s only forever, not that long at all.

“Today is a sad day.” That’s what my husband said to me when I woke up this morning. He’d been up for about an hour and had already heard the news. He knew it would be hard for me to hear so he wanted to tell me before I saw it on social media or some bubbly newscaster pretending to be sad as they read the prompter.

When my husband said, “David Bowie died last night,” I just stood there, my mouth hanging open like and idiot and stared at him. After a few moments all I could say was, “No.”


No. Not David. Not Ziggy. Not Jareth.

Can’t be.

He couldn’t have died.

I was just wearing my new “I move the stars for no one” shirt, so happy and proud to show my love for the man, the legend.

Celebrity deaths are just as sad as any death, but some celebrities are more important to a “regular” person than others. David Bowie is – was important to me.

I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t love David Bowie. I was just three years old when The Labyrinth was released (I tweeted earlier that it had come out the year of my birth, a mistake, probably due to the fact that I can’t remember it not being my favorite movie). I still have my Sir Didymus doll. Jareth the Goblin King formed my love of David Bowie and all misunderstood villains. I even carved his likeness in a pumpkin for Halloween last year because I am that big of a fangirl for this man. To this day, a good villain, a heart-broken misfit, the one who is just trying, will get me.

There is so much I want to say about this amazing man but I don’t think I have the words. He inspired me as a writer and he always will. I’ll be sad the next time I watch The Labyrinth (which will probably be later today). I am sad as I sit here listening to his music, grateful he managed to give us one last gift in his new record. But I am happy that I was alive when he was. I am happy that he’s been an influence for me.

We love you David, Ziggy, Jareth. We miss you already.

It’s only forever… Not that long at all.





10 Writing Facts About Me!

My friend Lyra posted about this over on her blog, and I thought, “Hey! Cool idea!” So I stole it am doing it too.

Writing is a strange vocation. You’re in a world with hundreds of thousands of others, but it also feels totally isolated – especially for a self-pubber – so it’s good to see how other people work or deal with it. Maybe you need some suggestions on how to make things work for you and seeing into other people’s process can help with that. It did for me when I was first starting out.

So here are ten things I do while writing.

1. I am an entirely different writer today than when I was when I first started out writing. When I first started, I was a panster. I just sat down and blindly wrote, figuring out the story as I went. I knew what the end was, I just had to figure out how to get there. Now I outline. When I first started, if I outlined, I lost the momentum, the urgency to tell the story, because, basically, I already did. Now I need a road map. But it’s like a road trip – I know my final destination and I know the pit stops on the way, but anything can happen while I’m there. I will occasionally write off the cuff still, but I have more focus than I did before.

2. I use music to write. If I’m starting a brand new project, I give myself a couple of hours before I begin to get a soundtrack going. I do use songs with lyrics because they really help me. I can write and not consciously pay attention to lyrics, but they’ll propel me into the mood I want for the book and/or scene, like subliminal messages. If I’m writing a series, I’ll just keep building on the same playlist until I have an epic soundtrack. This works for me because, if I’m not in the mood or the right headspace to write, I can turn on that soundtrack and like a Pavlov’s Law, I will suddenly be able to get into the mood of the story.

3. Sometimes my soundtracks fail me. Sometimes you gotta switch it up. If a book has been tension filled and I’m coming to a big battle or bloody scene sometimes I need to switch to actual soundtracks to get me through. I have a backup playlist that is just full of music from movies and video games with no lyrics that really drive me through intense, physical scenes.

4. If there’s a fight scene in a book, I have choreographed it in real life with my husband. I’m very lucky to have my husband as a resource at my beck and call. He is a trained fighter and a lifetime martial artist and a self-defense instructor. So, often, I’ll think of a scene and then grab my husband and work it out down to the last gory detail so I know it’s real and not just a movie fight.

5. For me, the hardest part is the rough draft. People hate editing, hate revising, but for me it’s getting that first draft done. Which is why I tend to “fast draft” – get big word counts done so I can get it done faster. It’s also why I outline. Editing and revising are easy to me because the hard part is done. Every milestone is great until I realize how far I am from the end.

6. I pinterest to keep track of what my characters look like. I have a lot of series going at once and that means a huge cast of characters to keep track of. So I will start boards with pics of celebs and other people so I can keep them all straight. It also helps me make sure no new character sounds like they look like another character.

7. If a book/series is particularly hard to figure out, I talk it out. So many books have been resolved while I was sitting on the counter in the kitchen, sipping coffee, while I talk AT my husband. He will offer suggestions, but often, my mind is racing and I’m watching the book unfold in my head and I’m talking out loud for the benefit of hearing it and committing it to memory. Also, I want to hear another human being tell me how awesome that idea is.

8. I used to say “write every day” but I don’t anymore. That phrase is so misleading, especially to new writers. I am a full time writer. I write 4-6 days a week depending on how well the sessions have gone. To me, that is writing every day. Yes, even with a day off. And then when the first draft is over, I take a break. Sometimes just a week, sometimes much more, depending on what I need. To me that is writing every day, but when you hear that phrase, it makes people think, to be a “real” writer they have to be writing 365 days a year and that’s just not true.

9. I don’t disconnect from the internet when I write. Some people need that, but I couldn’t focus if I knew I couldn’t take a break if I needed it. It’s like in school, when the clock is on the wall in the back and you weren’t supposed to look at it. That drove me nuts. If I write a few hundred and then want to check Twitter, I do. Sometimes I’ll bang out two thousand words without breaking stride, but I know I can take a break, so it helps. It’s all about figuring out what works for you.

10. It took me a long time to figure out what works for me to be a full time writer. My music, a set time of day that I write almost every day, a cup of coffee or a bottle of water, an outline, these work for me. But you know what? Even if I don’t have all these things, I sit down and write, or edit, or revise, whatever stage I’m at in a project, I get it done because this is what I want to do with my life.