Q & A with Author Angela V. Cook!

OFFICIAL cover

My favorite reason for using Twitter is that it has allowed me to connect with so many wonderful writers. One of these women (I’ve followed her since the very beginning) is the lovely Angela Cook. She blogs at Angela V. Cook and I’ve cheered her on as she’s found a home for her debut novel INTO A MILLION PIECES.

Even though women’s fiction and historical fiction are my favorite genres, I stayed up past midnight reading INTO A MILLION PIECES, Angela’s YA Paranormal about a teenage succubus, who must deal with the repercussions of the curse she’s inherited, and the painful ways it affects her family. The mystery at the heart of this book kept me riveted, the romance was beautiful (and hot!) and the plot had me guessing until the very end…I was practically hiding under my sheets with nerves!

So without further ado, I bring you Angela’s publication story, because I love a good “How I Got There” post, and like me, Angela has taken the LONG road!

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? 

I’ve always had a very active imagination, and I’d dabbled with writing my entire life, but I never thought I was good enough to pull off writing a novel. It wasn’t until my early thirties that I decided I was just going to sit down and do it or die trying (see the next question).

When did you start writing seriously? (with the intent of publication).

During the summer of 2009, I went through—what I would consider—an early midlife crisis. I was a stay-at-home mom, living the same day over and over, day in, day out (Groundhog’s Day anyone?). Don’t get me wrong; I don’t regret my decision to stay home with my children when they were little, but at the time, the monotony was killing me, and I was plagued with the thought, Is this as good as it gets? I wanted more from life. I didn’t want to turn seventy some day and have a long list of regrets. So, I decided to tackle one of the things on my bucket list: write a book. After I finished it, I thought I might as well try to get it published (no harm, no foul, right?), and even though nothing happened with that first book (rightfully so), I’d fallen in love with writing and the writing community. Suddenly, there was this feeling that I was right where I belonged, and even though I get [INCREDIBLY] discouraged at times, I know being a writer is what I was meant to do with my life.

 What were your favorite books growing up? What are your favorite books now? 

I was a huge fan of the BABYSITTERS CLUB and the SWEET VALLEY TWINS books when I was younger. As I got older, I fell in love with authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Toni Morrison. Now, I read mostly young adult books, since it’s what I write. I love contemporary YA, especially anything by Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell. However, I’m also a fan of historical fiction (chomping at the bit to read your upcoming release, Meredith!), and I adore Philippa Gregory’s Tudor series.

 

What authors have influenced your writing style?

 I think all writers have their own unique style and voice, but reading Stephanie Perkins’ (see above) books really inspired me to embrace my own style/voice. She’s easily one of my favorite young adult writers (if you enjoy young adult contemporary, you HAVE to check out her books!). When you read her stuff, you really get the feeling that you’re reading a narrative written by a seventeen-year-old girl falling in love for the first time, not something written by a thirty something year old trying to write like a teenager. She’s amazing.

 What do you love about writing YA?

The innocence. People always knock young adult authors for portraying “insta-love” (which might be one of my biggest pet peeves EVER) in their books, but really, that’s how teenagers fall in love! I can remember developing obsessive, all-consuming crushes on guys I barely knew in high school. I would write “I love such-and-such” on my folders, stalk them (thank God the internet wasn’t big when I was in HS), and talk about them like they were the greatest thing on God’s green earth. So, yeah. “Insta-love” is real and very normal for teens. Most of them haven’t experienced getting their heart broken (or at least, not to the extent of someone in their 20’s/30’s), so they’re not jaded, bitter, and afraid to fall in love. That first love affair is sweet and beautiful and full of all kinds of amazing “firsts.” I love writing about them! Also, the young adult genre just seems to fit who I am. When I write, I’m not trying to sound like a teenager, that’s just my voice coming though (which may or may not be a good thing). Writing anything other than YA just feels unnatural.

 Is INTO A MILLION PIECES your first novel?

Nope (see above). It’s actually my second. I consider my first manuscript my “practice novel.” I learned a TON from it, but it shall never see the light of day (except when I’m feeling really down, and I need to see just how far I’ve come as writer! Ha!).

 What gave you the idea for INTO A MILLION PIECES?

During the summer of 2010, there was a short-lived TV show called The Gates. It was about a gated community where the residents were of the supernatural persuasion (werewolves, vampires, witches, etc.).  One of the residents was a teenage succubus. Every time this girl kissed her boyfriend, she absorbed some of his life energy, which in turn weakened him. I had never heard of a succubus, but I loved the idea of a teenage girl who was in love, but couldn’t so much as kiss her boyfriend without harming him. It was then the wheels of creativity started turning.

 What (or who) has helped you improve your craft over the years?

Harsh critiques from other writers, reading good books in the genre I write, and just being involved in the online writing community (querytracker.net, twitter, writing blogs, etc.). There’s so much valuable information out there!

 How did you choose your publisher?

INTO A MILLION PIECES and I went through a lot together. I queried it to an inch of its life, got an agent, went on two rounds of submissions with it, left my agent for it, and started submitting it to [carefully selected] small presses. Small presses are a dime a dozen, so I did a lot of research. My goal was always just to find a good home for my book. I wanted a reputable small publisher. One with beautiful covers, great editing, fair contracts, and—for lack of a better term—good people. I definitely found that with Red Adept Publishing. I’ve been very happy working with them.

 What does it feel like to see your book in print? 

It feels great. When I got my proof in the mail. I took it out of the box, fanned the pages, and said to myself, “I wrote all that.” The realization hit me, and I actually started crying. It finally felt real.

Did you do anything special to celebrate your book release day?

Release day was kind of crazy (note: if you work, take release day off—trust me). I woke up super early to get all the online promo going, and then I had to go to work. I came home, did more promo work, and then I went to my mom’s for a celebratory dinner. As crazy as it was, it was a fantastic day, and one I’ll never forget.

What has been the hardest part of this journey?

Maintaining my confidence. Lack of confidence is something every writer suffers from and it can be incredibly debilitating. I still compare myself to other writers. I still deal with not-good-enough feelings. And I still get paranoid and assume everyone thinks my writing is crap, but they just don’t want to hurt my feelings. The life of a writer is not for the faint of heart. It is a tough, tough, tough career that you absolutely have to love or you won’t survive in it. Obviously, I love what I do (well, either that or I’m a bit of a masochist).

 What has been the best part of this journey?

Hearing that people enjoyed my story and couldn’t put it down. That never, ever, ever gets old! It’s especially rewarding when a stranger—with no ties to me whatsoever—says they loved it.

 If you could be friends with one book character in real life, who would it be?

Oh, goodness… Hmm… I’d have to say Jay Gatsby from THE GREAT GATSBY. I LOVE that era of flapper dresses, sharp-dressed men, and reckless abandon! Plus, how awesome would it be to attend those lavish parties he threw?

 Who’s your biggest literary crush? (Hopefully the hubs won’t be jealous, since this person is imaginary!) ;)

Morpheus from A.G. Howard’s “Splintered” series—without a doubt. He’s a dark, sexy, and twisted bad boy! Love him!

 What advice would you give to aspiring authors out there?

Get to know other writers. Share your work with them. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. It can be difficult to take at first, but if you want to grow as a writer, you have to be willing to not only take criticism, but also be willing to utilize it through the revision process.

Thanks so much for having me, Meredith! Great questions!

angela

About the Author

Angela V. Cook lives a very unexciting, but never boring, life with her husband and two children just outside of Detroit. Like most writers, she’s been making up stories for as long as she can remember and can’t imagine a life that doesn’t involve creating worlds. Angela loves to write novels for teens because it’s the best outlet for her sarcastic personality, immature sense of humor, and love of romantic firsts. Her idea of the perfect day involves a quiet house, a good book, and a piece of cheesecake. Or two.

 

Write for your future self

That one time turkeys went urban, showing up at my mom's house!
That one time turkeys went urban, showing up at my mom’s house!

With Thanksgiving nearly here, I decided to read through some of my old blog posts to reflect on the past year. In November 2013, what was I thankful for? As it turns out, I was too busy working for a startup to blog about anything at all.

But then I stumbled upon a Thanksgiving post from November 2011. And you know what? It brought a smile to my face. If you’re anything like me, then you understand how rereading old diaries holds a special pleasure, the ability to see a personal transformation take place.

Three years ago today, I was halfway through writing my second novel and I hadn’t even brought my laptop with me to my in law’s house in San Diego (where I’m currently enjoying 82 degree weather!).

These were my musings from that November night:

“The fear of agent rejection threatens to suck me under. What if it happens again?

Still, something keeps me going. And I’m thankful for it. The drive to continue writing, getting lost in the world I’ve created, is worth the risk. I enjoy talking to the characters in my mind. Because whether or not I ever get published, I have something that’s mine. My workplace identity doesn’t define me. I am the girl pouring her thoughts onto a blank page and watching them take shape.”

I thought that post was cool for two reasons. One, I would still choose to write even if I never got published, because I write for the love of it. And two,  I AM FINALLY GETTING PUBLISHED, and I have the pleasure of working through content edits for my 3rd novel this holiday season.

I don’t mean that sarcastically at all (for anyone who knows, content edits are hardcore). Seriously, I love the challenge of taking apart the puzzle of my story and putting it back together again. I am thankful that my publisher has assigned me an insightful and detail-oriented editor, someone who’s pushing me to put my best work out there.

And guess what? It’s all because I never stopped writing. My fear of agent rejection came true after that Thanksgiving blog post in 2011, and again in 2012 and 2013. But I didn’t let it stop me. I continued writing novels, and started to bring my laptop with me everywhere.

In 2011 I’d written, “After second helpings of mashed potatoes and stuffing,  I doubt I’ll want to do anything except sprawl on the couch in front of the television.”

That’s fine, sometimes. But that kind of work ethic won’t allow you to reach your goal. You have to fight for it. Last year, during the busy holiday season (Black Friday + e-commerce = many emails), I completed my to-be-published novel on Christmas Eve. In my gratitude journal, I’d written, “Get up early and write every day this week. Do it for your future self.”

The sacrifice was well worth it. I can now call myself an author, which I’ve dreamed about for years. And I’ve nearly finished my 3rd edit on my 4th novel, which I plan to query soon.

That’s right, I’m ready to enter the crap shoot of sending my novel out to literary agents, again!

So this year, I’m thankful I have two novels I’m proud of, products of my own mind, hands and heart. I’m no longer afraid of the reality of agent rejection, because I know that rodeo, and there are other ways to get published.

I will continue talking to the characters in my mind, pouring my thoughts onto the blank page and watching them take shape. And if you’re a writer, I suggest you do too. Because I guarantee, one day, your future self will be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

xox

Meredith

 

 

A new novel completed! (And the inspiration behind it)

June Tide vision board- it's real life Pinterest!
June Tide vision board- it’s real life Pinterest!

After I got the news The Heirloom had been accepted by Red Adept Publishing, I felt a giant weight lift from my shoulders. When you’ve written a “big” book, finding your novel the right home is very important. I wanted a publisher where my novel would be marketed to readers and appreciated by fellow literature lovers. I haven’t received my content edits yet, but I’m confident that when I get them, the team at Red Adept is committed to putting my best work out there. I can’t wait for each new stage: revising this draft of The Heirloom, brainstorming a new title, line edits, formatting, cover art…etc.

But, since none of these things are happening yet, I occupied my time by starting (and finishing!) a new novel. This one is called June Tide, and it’s set in 1940 and present day Santa Cruz, California. A troubled college student bonds with her campus therapist when she questions the suicide of a 1940s beauty queen, and the lives and secrets of three women converge. If you’d like to read more, you can check out my full blurb here.

Right now, my favorite author is Liane Moriarty. Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret are easily two of my most beloved books. Part of what makes them so compelling is the use of multiple perspectives. Liane tells her her stories with humor and heart, weaving in dark subject matter and mystery into her suburban Australian settings. The Husband’s Secret is told from the point of view of three women, and I absolutely loved jumping from character to character.

In The Heirloom, I have two perspectives: a female journalist, and a German immigrant, both living in San Francisco during different time periods, the present and 1876. Up until now, this work of historical fiction was my most challenging and complicated book. I’m proud of it and I hope readers will connect with the characters.

But thanks to Liane, I wanted to write an even bigger and more intricate novel. June Tide has three story lines and three perspectives: A twenty-year-old Mexican American college student with a chip on her shoulder, a 45-year-old divorcee with a sad past, and a twenty-year-old beauty queen in 1940, whose perfect life is not at all what it seems.

I was inspired by this article in SFGate about a docent who works in the archives of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It gave me all the information I needed to set the gears in my mind spinning. What if a student got in trouble for underage drinking and had to work in the Beach Boardwalk archives as community service? What if she found something there that once belonged to another person–a woman whose death is in fact an unsolved mystery?

 June Tide was such a pleasure to write, I almost felt like it was being narrated to me. I wrote my first draft in 2 months, the fastest I’ve ever finished a book, and I’ve just completed the second draft.

I seriously cannot wait to share this story with all of you. Once again, I’m going to seek agent representation, so when this book is in query-ready shape, wish me luck in sending it out there!

I am so grateful for the authors who inspire me and my friends in the writing community. I’m glad to see that UC Santa Cruz has become more diverse since I graduated in 2004, and I enjoy using my own experiences to touch on social issues and to ask questions. Ultimately this book is about identity and what it really means to belong.

Stay tuned for more news!

xox Meredith

My Publishing Journey–A Long and Winding Road.

I’ve waited years, yes years, to write this post. I’ve always enjoyed reading stories of how authors got published, and dreamed of one day writing my own. The announcements in Publishers Marketplace of overnight success and $500K deals to Big 5 publishers, followed by movie rights, brought on a bad, anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. Would that person ever be me?

(Hint: the answer is no. At least not yet.)

The author stories of heartache, excitement and disappointment were what I related to most, because that’s what I was going through. If you’ll bear with me, this details my (long) journey to the other side of the slush pile. It’s a message to all aspiring writers out there: sometimes you need to change your expectations, and reevaluate why you want to be published.

The Beginning:

In 2009, I began my first novel. I was 27 and blissfully unaware of how challenging my path to publication would be. I threw myself into the writing process, taking novel writing classes at the San Francisco Writing Salon. I thought I’d finally put my degree in Modern Literature to use. My behemoth of a manuscript was complete at 150,000 words (!) and it wasn’t until an editor kindly recommended to cut it down to 100,000 that I had any clue what I was doing.

I got it down to 112,000 words and sent it out to a top New York literary agent on Christmas Eve, 2010. Miraculously, she requested a partial the same day. Hoorah! All the horror stories I’d heard online were wrong. I was going to get an agent on my very first try.

A year later, my beloved manuscript was still getting rejected, and I decided to take a new approach. I won a pitch contest, and was sure I’d get a literary agent this time. It didn’t happen. I found an amazing critique partner, and worked really hard to get my novel into shape. I cut it down to 80,000 words and continued querying.

The Middle:

By July 2011, I started a new novel. The query process was agonizing, and even though my heart was fully behind my first book, I began to doubt myself. I shelved Book One and put all my efforts into Book Two. I attended my first writers conference, and got requests from every agent that I pitched. I was definitely going to get an agent this time! My second novel was more commercial, and better than the first. I’d gotten full manuscript requests before, and knew it didn’t guarantee an of an offer of representation, but I still had hope. When the final agent from the conference rejected me three months later, I felt like crap.

The End:

In July 2012, I was over it. I decided to take wedding planning seriously and distracted myself from the heartache with all the tasks I needed to get done. I got a full-time job at a startup and dealt with flower arrangements and customer complaints. I didn’t write for an entire year. It was as if a light inside me went out. But deep down, I knew it was still there flickering.

On July 13th, 2013, I got married, and it was the most beautiful wedding ceremony I ever could’ve imagined. On my honeymoon in Greece, my heart soared. I was free for the first time in a year. No work emails, no tuxedo rentals. I wanted to write. I got an email from my critique partner telling me she’d sold her novel to St. Martin’s Press. It was the final push I needed. On the island of Mykonos, I opened my leather notebook and started outlining the plot of The Heirloom.

greece

And when I got home from my honeymoon, I continued writing, and plotting. I’d never tackled historical fiction before. I knew a dual narrative would be challenging, but I wanted to go deeper than I had in my past. I liked sticking color-coded notes on my plot planner much more than I  enjoyed choosing wedding colors and making seating charts.

home writing

My job at the startup kicked into high gear for the holiday season, meaning long hours, and a deluge of emails from customers in need of Christmas gifts. I wrote every night and every weekend, until I was looking at a finished draft on Christmas Eve, 2013.

I spent the next few months polishing and reworking my novel with my critique partner and beta readers. I entered pitch contests on Twitter and got manuscript requests. Would this novel be different? It was certainly better than the first two, but agents reject 99% of all material queried.

During the #PitMad contest I got a full request from a big romance publisher. They loved the book, but wanted me to take it in a different direction. Was I writing romance? No way. My novel fell under a broader spectrum: women’s fiction/historical/mystery. I thought about the R&R request, but didn’t go through with the revisions to “spice things up.”

Then I got an “exclusive” full request from another big New York agent. Was this it?!? Nope. She didn’t love The Heirloom enough to sell it.

So I asked myself, why am I doing this? Am I trying to get an agent so I can sell to a Big 5 publisher and make lots of money? Of course, that would be nice. It’s what many writers dream of. But at my core, I wasn’t writing for money. I was writing for readers. I want to touch people with my words, to make them laugh, or cry. After 17 agent rejections, I changed course.

And that’s when I decided to query a small press that didn’t require an agent. A press that cares about its authors, and puts forth quality books in both digital and print.

When Red Adept Publishing called to offer me a contract, I didn’t cry or scream, like I thought I would. Instead, I felt a sense of calm.

Finally, I get to be my authentic self. I’m an author. I write books, and I plan to write many more of them. The end of this journey is really just the beginning.

So whoever you are, and whatever your goals, ask yourself, why am I doing this? If the answer is for the love of it, never ever ever give up.

Creating a competitive edge: What corn hole taught me about writing

corn hole

You’re probably thinking, huh? Corn hole? Let’s take a step back. It’s a summer game, usually played at barbecues or tailgate parties, where you toss bean bags onto a wooden board. Getting your bean bag through the hole accrues points.

Last night, I was out with my husband and his friend Brian, who has a modified version of the game. There are 3 holes, one worth 1 point, one worth 3 points, and one worth 5 points. My husband is a VERY competitive person, especially when it comes to sports. He hates to lose, and will quickly develop a winning strategy.

After my husband lost to Brian (master of the game), I suggested he play me, because his urge to beat me would force him to find his mojo. Lo and behold, I got crushed. My husband started throwing overhand instead of underhand, racking up points faster than I could blink.

But me? I was getting more frustrated. Why was I so bad at this game? Did I have zero hand-eye coordination? It shouldn’t be so damn hard to throw a bean bag! The whole time I played against my husband, he arced his arm in a mock throw, breaking my concentration. I was convinced he was doing it so I would miss every shot.

“Stop trying to psych me out!” I yelled. He smiled. “Want to know the secret?”

I dropped my hands. Yes, of course I wanted to know his secret to winning.

“I’m not trying to psych you out,” he said. “I’m not even looking at you, or thinking about what you’re doing. I’m focused on myself, my last throw, what I did wrong, and how I can improve it.”

Whoa. These words spoke to me on a deep level (maybe it had something to do with the wine I consumed beforehand, but bear with me). My husband understood something I could apply to writing. He wasn’t paying attention to me, the competition, he was only concentrating on himself. He used every one of his shots as an opportunity to improve.

I took these words to heart in the next round. I didn’t look at him at all, only his board. I hit the 1, then the 3, then the 5 point mark. Every time I missed, I didn’t dwell on my mistake. I realized I went too far to the left, and needed to aim slightly right to hit that sweet spot in the center. I got another 5 points, another 10…it felt effortless.

Suddenly my husband was livid. I had won the game! By a lot of points! And it was all thanks to his advice.

So how does this apply to writing? Don’t worry about your competition. I know it’s hard. Someone probably thought of your idea before you did, and maybe they’ve written a better version of your book already. Or their blog following is huge, bigger than yours will ever be. Should you stop writing altogether?

Absolutely not. Forget about so-and-so’s brilliant idea. The publishing industry is rife with jealousy. The only way to be successful is to have unwavering focus on your own goal. Look at it like it’s the 5 point mark on that corn hole board. You’re going to hit and miss. A lot. But you pick up your bean bag and you try again.

Because eventually, you’re going to make it.

Bring the History of your City to Life

As you may have noticed, I’ve been in hibernation mode since my last post, and I apologize. But there’s a reason for that. Sometimes as a writer, it’s difficult to balance managing a platform (social media, blogging) with the art of writing. In this post I revealed how my critique partner’s success inspired me to start a new novel. What’s happened in the past 9 months? My novel has been written and revised, the words and characters molded to the point where I can’t wait to share them with you.

This book is called The Heirloom, and it’s a dual narrative set in both present day San Francisco and 1876 San Francisco. You can read more about it here, but in the short pitch, a journalist with a dark secret suspects her heirloom engagement ring holds the answer to an unsolved mystery from 1876.

Why did I choose the Victorian era, and the Barbary Coast as my setting? Because San Francisco in the late 1800s fascinates me. The booze! The prostitutes! The dance halls, theaters, social class differences, murders and crimes. Not to mention the early immigrants who built our beautiful city. Walking around North Beach, I’m in awe of the brick buildings in Jackson Square, the paint of long gone advertisements nearly faded. The colorful Victorians in Alamo Square have their charm, but what really gets me are the unassuming row homes in the Dog Patch, which once housed Irish factory workers.

Did this novel require a lot of research? You bet. I used to be too daunted by it to think I could ever write historical fiction. But when you write about what excites you, it doesn’t feel like work. For instance, here I am geeking out in front of a jewelry store on Sutter Street called Lang Antiques, home of the ridiculous 3.5 carat emerald ring that inspired the heirloom in my novel.

Image

And it’s a quick walk from the Financial District to North Beach, where you’re bound to discover the bronze medallions on the ground, taking you on a tour of the former Barbary Coast. It’s strange to know I bought my lace wedding dress in the neighborhood where prostitutes, miners and sea captains used to carouse in the street. But it’s also awesome. Preserving our city’s history is important, and I don’t ever want to see historic homes turned into new condos or a strip mall.

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And if beer can be incorporated into research? Even better! I had to visit San Francisco’s oldest bar, The Saloon, to rest my feet and drink a PBR. The bar plays a prominent role in my novel, mostly because legend has it that a brothel once operated upstairs. It was saved in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake by firemen who had their priorities straight.

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Walking to work from the train station everyday, it would be easy enough for me to focus on the homeless junkies with their tent encampments, or the sputtering motorcycles speeding up 16th Street. Instead I choose to be enamored by Potrero’s Design District, the brick factory buildings dating back over a hundred years. I’m reminded of my characters and the place they inhabit in my mind. Except their world doesn’t feel entirely fictional. Once upon a time, a very different San Francisco than the one we know was real, and I’m making it my mission to bring that place to life.

Don’t Let Nobody Take Your Joy

After work on Friday, I gave some food to the homeless people who hang out by Civic Center station. With one sandwich and a croissant, I felt bad when I realized I didn’t have enough to feed everyone. But a kind, older man told me that seeing me happy was enough to brighten his day.

As I ran down the stairs, he called after me. I stopped midway and braced myself for the insult I was sure he’d spit out. He’d changed his mind. I was inconsiderate, lazy, privileged–or worse, he’d call me something derogatory, sexual.  But instead he said, “Young lady, don’t let nobody take your joy.”

This comment resonated with me. It’s so simple, and yet profound. Too often in life I play the victim, blaming my job, my commute, and my obligations at home for taking my joy. Why can’t I work on my novel whenever I want to? Why do I have to miss out on social activities with friends on the weekends because that’s the only time I have to write?

Nearly every day, I find a reason I can’t be happy. It’s a long work day, I have to clean the apartment, my husband is still recovering from surgery and his lack of independence has been challenging for both of us. I can’t be happy until life gets easier.

Waiting for my BART train, I thought about the homeless man’s words. I felt lighter. Hell, I was smiling. No one has the power to take away my joy. And it’s better to live in joy each moment, or at least to try, than to feel miserable all the time.

I still haven’t gotten any writing done this weekend, and I’m worried that tomorrow (a holiday) will require getting online and working to make sure nothing has gone wrong with the company website. This is the first year my husband and I haven’t gone camping with friends for Labor Day, because he needs to rest after surgery.

But getting upset about these things is a choice. I can’t pretend I’ve mastered the secret to happiness, but I think I’ve been given some key wisdom.  I am the somebody who can take away my joy, and I need to stop doing it.

Looking at my novel plot planner on the wall, I’m making slow but steady progress. I’ve written 62 pages. Yes, it’s daunting knowing I need to write 238 more, but I will get there. I’ve done it before. Twice.  Come hell or high water, work stress or family drama, writing is my joy. And I’m not letting nobody take it away from me.