You know when you start to have so many balls in the air that you realize you need to set some to the side so you don’t drop all of them? That’s where I am right now. The puppy, the blog, work, a social life, getting healthy, editing a children’s book, writing the sequel to The Sword and Shield, and getting my condo back in shape after the chaos of having my flooring done. Just a couple things, really.
So I’m setting something down. More specifically, I’m setting my blog down for a hot minute so I can focus on the mandatory/necessary aspects of my life.
I haven’t been able to muster the energy to make any progress on the sequel in several weeks and what’s the point of running a blog on writing at the expense of being able to actually write?
With that in mind, I hope to be back up and running, posting every week, no later than my birthday (one month from now) with all new content and reports of progress in my writing!
A youth’s world becomes much wilder and stranger as an elderly man guides him out of his past life and into a life of adventure and danger. Am I describing The Hobbit? Or how about Star Wars? Maybe Harry Potter?
Honestly? Who knows.
Perhaps you’d like to read about two star-crossed lovers, divided by their family’s. Am I talking about the Underworld movies? West Side Story? Romeo and Juliet?
The point I’m trying to make is, at their core, every idea has been used. People have written articles stating there are only three, seven, twenty, or even thirty-six plots in all the world of literature. Each list has its own merit.
At the end of the day, it’s not about whether or not the concept is original, but the twist on that method.
A scientist takes their work a step too far and their creation rebels against them. Frankenstein or Jurassic Park? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that your twist is new and innovative and, most importantly interesting!
So you’d think that having a full-time job while maintaining a social life, keeping my home in order, writing on the side and taking care of two cats would be enough to keep my hands full. And it does for sure. But having had a dog for 15 years and losing him last year I found myself with a hole.
That being said, I would like to present to you the newest member of the Khoury clan, Gipsy Danger! She is named after the giant robot (jaeger) from the movie Pacific Rim. Because I figure a small dog deserves an epic name.
I am looking forward to getting back in shape with her help and the serotonin she will bring into my life!
So this is an image completely unrelated to my writing and seemingly out of left field for my readers. Let me explain:
I was recently prescribed an inhaler. So I had the above conversation with my neighbor and good friend Amanda and an idea came to me. What if I had a sticker made of my ‘albutebuddies’ concept to put on my inhaler case?
As quickly as the dream was born it faded ever so slightly. The thing is, while I can write till the sun goes down I can’t draw or paint to save my life. Seriously, if there was a gun to my head I might be able to produce a decent stick figure.
So for a moment I was stumped. At first I thought that I might be able to reach out to one of the TikTok artists I follow to commission something for me but that sounded far fetched. Then I remembered that I have a friend who is a talented artist!
So I reached out to her with my whackadoodle idea and she was on board!
What does this have to do with writing?
But it’s important to remember to welcome whimsy into your life. Feel free to be silly. Life is too short to take everything seriously. And being a writer is ALL about the whimsy and the creativity.
If you want your own Queen B product then check out her store or message her on Facebook.
In the above images you will note that. In the whole of 2019, I got just under 3000 views to my website. Just over halfway through 2020 and I’m pretty close to hitting those numbers again. I attribute this to many factors: my book releasing, a concerted effort on my part, and the dystopian novel that we call Current Events.
I’ve been pushing hard, mostly via Facebook, to make my presence known and the numbers don’t lie. It’s working.
But I want to keep that momentum going and because I didn’t have the foresight to major in Writing and minor in Marketing I need help.
That’s why I reached out to Amy’s company New Shelves Books. I met Amy at the Cincinnati Writer’s Digest conference in the late summer of 2018 (can’t believe it’s almost been TWO years since that event) and she was one of the presenters.
I got some great advice from her, as well as her card, and an offer to work together in the future when I’m ready. Well I had a very productive phone call with her the other day and am fervently hoping that my numbers grow quickly in the coming months with the help I’ve recruited.
Some of you may have noticed that my website looks completely different. That is because I was inspired to jazz things up. Yes my previous design was minimalist and professional, but I’m not so it wasn’t working for me. So over the next few weeks you may see the website try on and eventually decide upon a new theme. If you are familiar with WordPress and have an opinion on which theme you believe would best highlight my site don’t hesitate to comment with the Theme’s name. It is currently on ‘Chronicle’ right now.
Not only my website, but I realized that the ‘Diary of a Half-Crazy Writer’ brand needed a little extra oomph. So I now have a logo.
“Now Emma,” You might say, “You just said your site was too minimalist, but you’ve gone with a very minimalist logo. What’s up with that?”
The rich and famous writers of the world that serve as household names are few and far between when you consider how many writers exist in the world. Would it be nice to only have to work 20 or so hours a week and spend the rest of my time writing? Of course. But I’m not making any plans contingent on that any time soon, if ever.
People will comment things to me like “well when you become a rich author” or if you’re my dad “When you get the first royalty check from your book’s movie deal” but I honestly don’t write for the money. My dream is to share my stories with others.
My ultimate dream involves being in a bookstore and overhearing someone talk about how much they like my book(s). It is a persisting and shining dream in my head.
The truth is, I don’t even expect to make much of anything off my writing.
But honestly, if I can just make enough supplemental income to buy the nice cat litter that clumps, and go on the occasional vacation, then I’ll be fine.
It has been brought to my attention that I have done little to call attention to one of the more unique aspects of my book. That aspect being that there’s no romance. Not for the Main Character at least. Not a single iota of love interest for Ezra. Quite the opposite, there is a complete and total absence of romantic feeling exhibited by Ezra Toth anywhere in the book. Why, you ask?
Because he is Ace. An abbreviated form of the official designation of Asexual as it is called within the LGBTQ+ community, this is the category in which people with little to no interest in relationships go. Now, just like anything else in this world, an Asexual doesn’t fall into a neat little box. There is a spectrum upon which people who identify this way fall.
However, I am in no way equipped to educate you on this subject as I am not ace but here are some lovely references if you would like to educate yourself on the subject. It is, after all, Pride Month, so why not learn about someone else with a different point of view?
So after a little over two months post-release I am averaging 4/5 stars on most of the sites where reviews are available. That being said, I need you guys to take 30 seconds to do a Google review as well! Apparently there’s only one and it isn’t good.
But overwhelmingly the response has been positive and that fills me with an indescribably breathtaking joy. Yes there are some negative reviews, but if I waited to release my book till I thought it would be loved by everyone then I would be waiting a very very long time.
One of the most common comments is that they are excited to see what comes next for Ezra, what my next book will be, or what the sequel will entail. I’ll be honest with you, when I finished The Sword and Shield I had no intention of writing a sequel. While I knew Ezra’s story was hardly over I felt that I had provided enough closure to satisfy readers.
That being said, I have begun writing the sequel. I have written out a plot summary and most of Chapter One. It is still a ways away from being a reality (at least 2 years if not more) but I promise that it is going to become a reality even if it drives me to the brink of bat-shit insanity.
In addition, I am waiting on my agent to send me a contract! I won’t go into specifics yet but it’s definitely an exciting SOUNDING development. Hint hint, nudge nudge.
There seems to be this common misconception, this unspoken rule, this bullshit, that you need to achieve your dreams early in life.
And you very well might, but don’t give yourself a deadline. If you don’t publish your first book till you’re 50 that’s still earlier than the average person.
Because, as sad as it may be, most people don’t achieve their lifelong dream. Many don’t even come close. But for those who have achieved that monumental task, it was by no means an easy accomplishment.
Let’s look first at J.K. Rowling. At one point this phenom was once homeless, jobless, divorces, a single mom, and suicidal. She had nothing going for her except for a determination not to give in to despair and a brilliant mind. We all know how her story develops but for those who were under the impression that they have to be a published author in their 20s, she didn’t publish the first installment in the Harry Potter series till she was 32, which is still tremendously impressive.
Thomas Edison’s famous story of the thousand and one lightbulbs is a testament to not giving up, but his fierce determination in the face of adversity began far earlier in life. In fact, while I was doing research for this article I was delighted to learn that I share something in common with the man. We were both called stupid by teachers. Not exactly the most fun commonality to have endured but I’ll take what I can get. Not only was he told that he was “too stupid to learn anything”, he was also fired from his first two jobs. Edison’s is a story of true determination in a world that would have told him to give up.
My favorite rags to riches to infamy to fame has got to be that of Alexander Hamilton. Why? Because I love the musical. And when I say ‘love’ I mean I have almost every single word of every single song memorized. The man went through some serious shit.
On that note, I will bid you a fond farewell. I hope some of these examples help to motivate you that, even when things seem darkest, it may be just before the dawn.