It has been one hell of a year. I’ve learned a lot these past twelve months and believe me, it hasn’t been pretty. This just happens to be my anniversary month of starting the blog. I want to thank everyone who has joined me on this journey! And I also want to thank myself. Without this blog, there are some moments where I feel like I might have given up as a writer. In light of recent events, that makes me hopeful.

It was irony, or maybe some sick twisted version of ‘fate’ that made Chester Bennington take his own life around the time of his mentor and friend Chris Cornell’s birthday. It makes me think that life is so fragile, that even the strongest of us fail. I know I’ve talked openly about mental illness here before, but now more than ever it needs to be said.

You matter. You are loved. You are needed. You are strong.

If you need to talk to someone, do it. Reach out to that friend that you feel you can trust. Tell them the truth on why you need to talk. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it won’t be easy opening up to that person about your issues. It will be the best thing you’ve ever done. As soon as I started talking to someone about my issues I no longer felt alone. Hell, half the time it is only this that helps. Talking in any capacity helps. So talk, even if it is to a Mental health phone line worker (I know it is technically the “Suicide Hotline” but that terminology sucks and increases stigma). Write it out if that helps, invite a friend to coffee and talk about it. Text, call, email, private message… Do anything to help before you take that final step.

Because it bears repeating: You are loved. You are needed. You matter more than you think.

I know this hurts. I know that it feels like the end of the world. I know it feels like the only way out, but remember that one day you could help save another because you know what it is like. That is all someone needs to hear before you offer a shoulder to lean on and listen to their story.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT!! say that you or so and so had it much worse. That shit doesn’t help.

Listen, be compassionate. Tell the person that they can reach out at any point in time, that you will be there for them. They need an ally, they need a friend, they need to feel loved. They might question you and your loyalty to them, that’s normal. But keep going back.

Okay, time to hop off the soapbox. This does need to be said, as it becomes more prevalent day by day.

You are loved, dear reader. Live your dreams.

Oh, the joy of editing!

Oops, I’m sorry! I’m not sure if that came out as sarcasm or not! It is sarcasm, there is usually no joy in editing, especially not rewrite editing. I am taking an eighty-one-page manuscript and chopping it into little pieces.  I am also planning on removing a character and adding in desperately needed detail. So far I’ve done the cutting. Wednesday is the sectioning and slowly working on it scene by scene. The piece I am pretty much reworking almost from scratch is what I had originally titled “The Stand In” and was originally promoting on a poorly thought-out Patreon.

It wasn’t nearly as ready for public eyes as I thought it was or could be. There is so much wrong with what I currently have it’s laughable. Which is why I am very thankful I have the next eight weeks to work out the kinks with two different writer’s groups. My personal local one and in my Advance Writing workshop class. And yes, I did start a local group. We meet every other Saturday and we have an online companion for those who live too far away or can’t make it every week.

Hopefully, I have people come every week!

Editing has never really been my friend, at least not when I am looking at my own works. I can review and suggest edits to another writer with minimal issues… but I have a set of writer’s blinders a mile long when it comes to my own pieces. I am, however, starting to get over that when I give a piece enough breathing room. Nine months is a little long, but what can you do? I’m not counting that little stint in March/April because nothing really changed all that much between NaNo and Patreon. Recently, everything I have written for academia and here has been missing the editorial filter that I desperately need lately. I am slowly starting to learn to take my God-damn time with things. From work, to boxing, to cleaning, to writing everything takes time and I need to S L O W  D O W N.

I don’t know why I always feel the need to rush myself. I’m bad at attempting to not rush. This crazy world we live in demands that we all move as quickly as possible, to get things done immediately, and that efficiency doesn’t matter (even though it does).

Am I rambling? Probably. That’s another downfall of mine. At least here you don’t mind. Or do you?

What are your worst editing stories? I have one, although I think this upcoming one will be a close second if not take the cake.

I was writing what is considered fanfiction for a Creative Writing class while I was still a student at CCRI. The teacher wanted us to use another author’s setting and characters and create our own story out of it. Some of the more creative folks, one of which is now published, used that prompt and spun it to share a family story or a story based on their steampunk crew. I used it to do what I did best a few years ago. Write epic fanfiction. I choose to use a show that I was currently obsessed with called Kuroshitsuji (known in the USA as Black Butler). I pumped out a twenty-page manuscript in a matter of a few days. I also tend to copy-edit as I go and reread, so my rough draft was a pre-edited draft. Once I had initial feedback from the class I attempted my first big scale edit. Oh boy, was that a disaster! Some might even go as far as to call it a shit show.

I almost trashed it. Almost. I had a few of the people I was close with in that class and a few fanfic friends read over the new edit. They provided suggestions based on both copies. They had plenty of common ground to say this works and that didn’t or to suggest that I replace it what I had last. By the time my third version came to life I was much happier and grateful that the class gave enough time for me to sit on it for almost a month. You and the rest of the world may laugh but that was the class that made me realize I wanted to write and teach how to write. If a scatter brain like me can learn how to write and how to edit, even if I still don’t know how to fix some mistakes, anyone can. This is a teachable skill, even though it feels like hell when you get down to the nitty-gritty.

What are some of your worst editing stories or what are some of your best tips for getting through tough edits? Please let me know, I want to know I am not alone!

Waiting on the Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July!! 

If you aren’t inside the USA, welcome to another day! I’m currently clustered in a park with about a thousand or so Rhode Islanders and I’m going to wait upwards of three hours to witness twenty minutes of mediocre fireworks. But that’s okay because I am outside, I’m with my husband, and enjoying the freedom my founding fathers fought in the killer summer heat for. 

I am thankful for the freedom I do have though. Just this week I started my first writer’s group! I also signed up for a boxing gym. Yup, you read that right. I plan on writing on the days I take off from boxing. So three days boxing, three days writing, one day designated to homework. Since it is Camp NaNoWriMo this month I hope to work on the piece I started last time. I will have to rework the whole thing because I’m taking it in a completely different direction than I had originally intended. I also now feel like a writer. I am writing, I’m taking strides to make my writing better, and I’m no longer trying to go it alone. 

I hope everyone has a safe and fun filled Fourth! Fellow Campers: Write On!

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