The End of Hiatus

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In February 2015 I announced that I was going to be taking an official hiatus, as things in my life were getting pretty stressful. I’d assumed that I would be back in a few months or so. Ha ha. Ha.

I’m going to level with you guys and be completely transparent. 2015 was the worst year of my life to date. My little brother unexpectedly passed away. I was diagnosed with a life long, semi-degenerative, incurable illness. (Said illness got much worse this year, so for a lot of 2015 I’ve been struggling to just stay afloat.) I developed chronic nausea so bad that I could hardly eat anything; I was hospitalized for a week; I randomly passed out; I fell down two flights of stairs and had an icebox land on me; and so on. You hopefully get the picture at this point.

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A summary of 2015

But now I’m back. While this year has been nothing short of a pain, I’ve learned how to adapt and make it through. I’ve had to focus in on what’s truly important to me, and writing is one of those things.

Thus, I officially declare my hiatus as over! And boy do I have a surprise for you guys.

The Final Advent will be released in January of 2016. (It’ll likely be ready towards the tail-end of December, but I don’t want to harm the book’s release my putting it too close to Christmas and New Years.) The cover is done, the formatting is largely finished, and all I have left to take into account is one beta editor’s feedback. The No Angels trilogy will finally be complete!

I’ve already started drafting my next novel, The Immortal, which I have high hopes for, and am also drafting a short, loose horror retelling of Frankenstein.

I’m so happy to be back at it again. When I’m writing, when I’m reading, when I’m doing ANYTHING book related, I feel a sense of ease and excitement all at once. Thank you guys so much for your incredibly patience in my absence; I can’t thank you enough for your support and kind words.

While 2015 was undeniably rough, 2016 is set to be the best year yet! Let’s get to it!

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In Times of Trouble

As one can likely guess, writing is a huge part of my life. Not only that, but it’s one of the most valuable assets I have, and have used it throughout my life accordingly.

For instance, when writing exam papers I’ve never gotten anything lower than an A, (even when I have zero idea what I’m talking about because I know how to sufficiently BS something; thanks, standardized testing system). I’m able to deal with those weird questions on job applications because, somehow, I’m able to write my way around them. (You know exactly what questions I’m talking about. Those ones that ask “what ambiguous life experiences gave you sufficient experience to deal with x scenario that’s never happened to anyone ever?”)

Also, no writer’s cramp. Those muscles are strong, baby.

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However, there are also much more meaningful ways in which I can use my skills, and that is exactly what was called upon this past month.

My little brother unexpectedly passed away on May 1st. The amount of shock, of that out-of-body feeling is unlike anything I can convey at the present moment. But still, I had a familiar habit and comfort to fall back on, and it was something I needed to utilize. Writing.

I wrote my brother’s eulogy and delivered it in front of over 500 people. I wrote the poem that was in the distributed literature. I worked on the obituary.

Most obviously, my writing has zero weight on the tragedy of what happened. It’s a side-note, at most.

But. Writing helped (and is still helping) me through it. It allows me to put my grief and myriad other feelings down so that I can see the words staring back at me. It’s a release, if only small and temporary, from everything else around me. Writing has always offered me escapism, but primarily in the vein of storytelling. Now it’s much more than that.

So enjoy your days while you have them, and write while you have the chance. That’s certainly what I’ll be doing.

Death of a Computer

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Well, it finally happened. My computer passed away. The hard drive, logic board, and battery all had to go bye-bye, which is effectively the equivalent (cost excluded) of replacing one’s computer.

But fear not! I had about 5 minutes before said doom struck to back up some of my most crucial files. My books.

Funnily enough, I’d never backed them up before that. (Praise THE HEAVENS that I had the chance to at all!) Can you imagine losing all of your story ideas, all of your plot outlines, all of your complete manuscripts? Pure nightmarish terror!

There is one thing, however, that I did not have a chance to save. Something I spent over 40 hours working on and was soon going to unveil.

The Final Advent‘s cover. And the video I’d put together detailing my process from beginning to end. I literally almost cried when I saw that I hadn’t backed either up. I’d spend nearly a month putting them together, and then poof, it was gone.

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Slughorn’s drunken commentary on the impermanence of life.

Now that my time of mourning has been observed and run its course, I’m back on the horse and have already began working on the cover yet again. (And yes, I’m ever working on edits, albeit slowly. Check my last post if you’re curious as to why.)

Have you ever had your computer die on you? If so, did it take any precious projects or pictures down with it? Comment below!

An Official Hiatus

HiatusI’ve taken accidental hiatuses before, – getting too wrapped up in whatever I’m doing to drop in and say hello-, but I’m afraid that this time I’m going to be taking an official hiatus for a while.

Still, I don’t want to just leave without any explanation, (even though I will be coming back), or a vague one that seems like an excuse.

Long story short, I suffer from an unfortunately lengthy list of health problems. Everything affecting me from my guts to my head to my joints and so on. I’ve been almost living in the doctor’s office and taking prescriptions galore in the hopes that things will improve, but thus far nothing has taken.

As you can imagine, living like this is exhausting. Add in a full course load, a part time job, and all the exercise and precautions I have to do to keep what health I have in check, and it goes from exhausting to crushing.

I’m still editing The Final Advent and dabbling in other projects, but I knew I had to let you guys know why there’s been such a delay in getting book three to market, and to let you guys know that I won’t be as active for a while. I may make a Facebook and Twitter post here and there, but not so much as far as posting book related updates or working as much on projects.

I’m not sure how long this hiatus will be. A month, maybe a couple. I can’t say when/if my health will improve enough for me to throw myself back in the ring, though I know I will at some point.

All I ask for right now is your patience and understanding, and sincerely thank you for it.

Perpetual Five Year Olds

tantrumSome people act like five-year olds well into their adult years. I won’t name names, but I encountered one of these people just the other day. Things turned interesting very quickly.

I’m part of an online community of authors where people get into groups and review each other’s work, – never reciprocal reviews though, (meaning that if A reviews B’s work, B review’s C’s, NOT A’s. C would then review A’s work.) This keeps people’s opinions more or less honest.

The purpose of this review group is to give indie authors more reviews, because it boosts our chance of getting noticed as well as showing readers what they can expect. However, this does not mean that people don’t give you bad reviews. A lot of people do.

Some people don’t take these poor reviews well either.

After finishing reading one of my assigned books, I gave it a relatively low rating. It had potential, but needed much more polish.

The author could’ve simply taken the bad review and walked away. You need tough skin in this business, and to throw a hissy over one poor review is bad form. But he didn’t.

After he commented on my review with links to the dictionary definitions of “irony” and “satire”, (since he intended his work to be satire, I assume, though it certainly didn’t come across as such), I told him that responding to reviews like this was amateur and unprofessional, and that I wish him the best.

So he gave my book scathing review, despite never having read it, (unless he purchased and read my 300 page novel within 5 minutes of getting his bad review; I don’t think that’s how it happened, do you?). Not only was he harsh towards my book, but towards me. (After all, it was I who wrote his review, not my innocent book.)

They went on to rip me up on everything from subject matter, (how commercial the blurb made it sound, and how ergo, since it would reach a large audience it was obviously crap. Seems like quite the raging hipster, doesn’t he?), to how, because of my age, I would be an inspiration to other overachieving, insipid teenagers.

Once I notified the mods, – they were baffled by his behavior and ripped him apart for it-, he took down his review and apologized to the moderator. (Never to me, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.)

There are two things I take away from this. One, some people are mentally locked in as perpetual five year olds, whining and crying and throwing a fit when they don’t get what they want. Even when they’re easily into their adulthood. Two, it’s awesome to see them bite their tongue and backpedal afterwards.

Have you ever had any experience with people acting ridiculously childish? Tell me in the comments below!

Concerning My Absence

Hello, hello! It’s been quite some while since I’ve posted anything book related, hasn’t it? I apologize for that.

I am slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things, and Collapsed Cathedrals WILL be released soon. I can’t say with the accuracy that I would like, but that’s not without reason.

Between moving, entering a relationship to which I am extremely committed, the close of my senior year, (and all of the following AP exams and finals that accompany it), I’ve been doing my best to stay afloat. Still, I wanted to let everyone know that yes, I am still here, and yes, I plan to have things moving along very shortly.

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Thank you for all of your patience and understanding!