Category Archives: WIP

Teaser Tuesday!

P&X

My back hurts, my legs burn, and everything sticks to me, sweat painting my neck. I scrape my hair out of my face and find pieces of lettuce and dried enchilada sauce. Angel is just as filthy, the hours stuck to us in layers of grease while time has burrowed even deeper in my father’s skin.

He’s been waking up at three AM every morning for the past fifteen years. Cooking migas and tamales and pozole and carne asada. Cleaning up broken glass and spilled drinks and half-eaten food. Hiring bartenders and dish boys and steak cooks, firing them too. Waking up every morning wondering if people are going to show up that day, if they’re going to like the food, if they’re going to pay what it’s worth. And going to bed every night hoping that it was enough. To pay the bills. To raise four kids. To open the doors another day.

I can see those worries on his face, and even covered in filth, in food my father used to love, in sweat I can’t wait to wash off, there’s nothing I want more than to wear the same worry he does, to wake up with the same hope.

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WIP Wednesday

Yes, it’s March, and yes this is technically my first WIP post of the year. Luckily, no one missed much as I’ve been working on this last line edit for book 3 in the TGIB series for…oh…three months now. I don’t know what it’s like for other writers, but there is no stage of my writing process quite as treacherous as that final line edit.

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I’ve gotten really good at not editing as I go, simply for the sake of finishing. If I read each draft the way I do the final one, I’d never get anything done. But once it’s time for me to strap on my editor hat for that final line edit, it’s like I get sucked into a black hole. I’ll glance at the clock and realize that I just spent half an hour on one paragraph or that an entire day has gone by and I’ve only completed one chapter. It’s tedious and heart wrenching but it’s also necessary. I just wish I could find a more streamlined way of tackling it, or better yet, maybe the universe could just add a few more hours in the day. Once this is finished, which I pray will be in the next few weeks, I will no doubt emerge looking like a zombie, probably smelling like one too. But who has time to bathe when there are words to be sliced and sentences to be diced?

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Once book 3 in the series is finished, and it WILL be finished this month, I will move on to the fourth and final book in the series, which has been patiently waiting for my attention since…oh, jesus, November. I plan on taking things at a slower pace with this novel because I really want to get it right. That means it probably won’t be done until the end of the year. But the good news is I’ll be alternating drafts with my contemporary romance novel that’s also been shelved for far too long and then…once all that is done I will finally be able to start something new. It’s been an entire year since I started a new project. For the past twelve months I’ve either been editing or picking up where I left off on abandoned drafts. By the time I start book #9 (yes, NINE!) it’ll likely have been two years since I’ve started something new. And I can’t freaking wait.

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The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Written

*To celebrate my two-year blogging anniversary, I’ll be re-blogging some of my favorite posts from 2014 throughout the month of December*

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Lately it feels like that’s what this current WIP is turning out to be. I wrote the other day about how I had my first good writing day in a while but something I didn’t quite clarify was that “good” wasn’t necessarily referring to the actual writing itself. Yes, I gained clarity and yes, the words were flowing but that didn’t mean they weren’t garbage. They were and they are and the more I write the more I dread revisions because this puppy is going to need a lot of work. But what I’ve come to realize in my quest to write a first draft without obsessing over every word is that it’s not the words that matter. What matters is the story. And not whether or not it’s good but whether or not it’s there.

Through five books I’ve been the type of writer who would rather sit and…

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WIP Wednesday

It’s the final WIP check-in of the year and even though I’m drowning in revisions right now, I’m still trying to absorb the fact that I’ve published two novels in the past three months and there’s still one more on the way before the year is up! Everything but the last chapter, which I’m still tweaking, of book 3 in the TGIB series has been sent to my final beta reader, which means that the FINAL draft will soon be complete (hopefully mid-December) and then I’ll just need one more line edit before this novel will be officially done!

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The first draft of this novel practically fell out of me and it had been smooth sailing through most of the revisions but now that I’m nearing the final draft, those doubts I’d managed to stave off for so long are finally starting to rear their ugly heads. This happens every time I near the end of a project but since the writing of this novel wasn’t as tumultuous as the others, I find myself questioning whether or not that’s a bad sign. Writing should be difficult, and writing this novel was difficult, but not as difficult as the others. I’m not sure if that’s just a result from my recent growth as a writer or if it’s a sign that I didn’t grow enough during the writing of this book, but I’m hoping to take some time away from it before my final revisions so I can get some clarity and see it more objectively.

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Book 4 in the series will still be my main focus this spring but now that I’ve started a new job I’m probably going to spend most of the next couple of months trying to work out a new routine. For me it’s an essential part of my creative process and I just can’t be productive unless I have some kind of itinerary.

I’m absolutely loving my new job but I can also sense myself using it as an escape. My writing has been my sole focus for so long but mentally I’m just so drained from this series that I can’t wait to take a small break from it at the start of the new year. I put so much pressure on myself these last two years that I think I deserve to live in the here and now for a little while instead of constantly planning the next chapter or book or release date. I still want to be a full time author but after getting this new job, it’s also nice to know that I can do something else and actually be good at it. I’m a creative person and that creativity isn’t bound to words or a certain medium or occupation. That creativity is boundless and powerful and I can fulfill my purpose as an artist no matter where I am.

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WIP Wednesday

This past Friday I celebrated the release of The Boy In Her Dreams and while I was able to upload that novel a month early, making it available for pre-order, these last two months of finalizing book three in the series are going to have me cutting it dangerously close. I still have my fingers crossed for a December 31st publication date but it will require laser focus and absolutely NO unexpected setbacks. So, yeah, not a very solid plan but like I said, I still have hope. I was heads down all October long trying to get the third draft of this novel finished and as of today at 2:00PM I only have thirty pages left to edit!!!! I would be jumping for joy right now if I didn’t already know that those last thirty pages are absolutely terrible and probably need to be re-written from scratch. I’m giving myself a Sunday night deadline and then I’ll dive straight into the fourth draft since I’ve already been passing along chapters to my beta reader as I go along.

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Book 3 is probably going to be my main focus right up until December 31st but as soon as the new year hits, it’s going to be all about crafting the proper farewell to this series. Book 4 is a monster and as of now the first draft is still sitting at about 50K. Hopefully I’ll be able to spend the entire month of January on getting a good solid draft and then I’m just going to keep chipping away at revisions for as long as it takes. I don’t want to set a deadline for myself right now, even a tentative one, because I really just want to focus on making this story great. I’ve never written a series before, and certainly never a finale like this, and even though I have no idea what kind of pressure I may get from readers or if this series will even attract any readers at all, I want to be totally conscious and committed to finishing this story the right way and not the fast way.

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Since I’m having to push back finishing the first draft for book four, my NA contemporary romance is still on the back burner as well but I hope to return to it sometime this spring. More HUGE NEWS, after a relentless campaign, Amazon has finally price-matched The Girl In Between, which is currently FREE at all major online retailers! Check out my BOOK page for more info on links to where you can download your copy! As for the blog tour, so far everyone’s posts have been going up without a hitch and the series has been getting some stellar reviews. It took a lot of time and effort to put everything together but as more sales and reviews start to trickle in I’m beginning to see the fruits of my labor and it’s just such an incredible feeling! Some more MAJOR NEWS…I daydreamed in my previous WIP Wednesday about someday only having to work one job instead of two and I am thrilled to say that day has finally come! There are just so many wonderful things in motion right now and I’m so incredibly grateful for not only these recent opportunities but for the amazing lessons in patience and perseverance I learned when I thought they’d never come.

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