Emilia’s Awakening: Chapter Four

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Catch up on previous chapters here: Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three.

I stumbled back into the hall banging my back into the corner of the dresser. A sharp pain burned beneath the surface. “Emilia, please don’t leave.”  Was I mistaken? Maybe she wasn’t dead, but her creamy bluish skin told otherwise. I slowly pushed the door open.

“H…Hello?” I whispered into the room.

“Emilia. You finally came.” The woman in white rushed from her usual perch at the window and stood just before me.

“Who are you?”

“My name is Morea,” while her hair was a mess of spiraled curls, I couldn’t help but notice the likeness of her and the woman on the bed.

“Is that you?” My finger shook as I pointed at the body.

“It is.” She looked back at the bed, her hazel eyes wrecked with pain.

“What happened? Why hasn’t anyone found you?”

“I only meant to help those of our kind, but some didn’t share my desire. They separated me from my body, and imprisoned me here to stare at the life I once had for all of eternity.” She looked away before she crossed the room and stood in front of the mirror. “It’s been many years since I have met a person with your talents. Someone who can help me.”

“I don’t understand…”

“You can help me transfer back to my physical form, and I can assist you with your greatest desire. You see, I have particular talents. I know things about people; some they don’t even know themselves. And I know you don’t want this gift.”

My mind spun trying to understand. “You’re right… I’d do anything to get rid of it.”

“Then let me help you. But first, you must help me.”

“How? I can only see you, what use is that?”

“You are much more than you realize. Just follow my instruction.” I backed away from her. “I promise. All this will be gone, and you will be free from this burden.”

I paused, unsure of what to think, “okay…”

Joy lit up her eyes, “First, please light the candles.” She pointed at a white box of matches sitting on the dresser. Six candles lay in a circle on the floor as if they had been prepared years before. The burnt black tips and thick droplets of dried yellowed wax that ran down the sides suggested they were well used. She pointed at the matches sitting on the dresser. I followed her direction and lit one at a time until a ring of light surrounded me.

“Write Morea Delphiare on this slip of paper.” A paper floated down from seemingly nowhere. I found a pen in Nate’s jacket pocket and did as she said. “Now, repeat these words and do exactly as I say.”

I repeated after her. “I break the binds on this life that were once cast upon her.” I stuck the paper into the flickering light, and it instantly ignited. “As the paper burns, she is free from the shackles that hold her hostage.” I watched her name turn into ash and crumble to the floor. I feared the red embers would ignite the dust as they fell to the floor, but nothing happened. I tossed the remaining bit of paper into the flame of the candle before it reached my fingertips. “And extinguished shall this bind forever be.” I blew out the candles as I lit them.

A swirl of dust and smoke surrounded me, I began to cough and wheeze under the thick air. My heart pounded in my chest as a prickle grew through my body. I only felt the sensation once. The prickle developed into a burn until it released with an explosion of air, sending me and the candles crashing into the wall.

“Emma!” Nate was smacking my cheeks when I woke. “Emma. Come on. We’ve gotta get you out of here.” The room was blurry, and I could barely make out his face. I wasn’t sure if the room was disheveled or if it was my head spinning. Before I could gain my bearings, I was being lifted from the floor and carried down the steps. I could hear her calling him, “Stop, she’s not done. Stop!” Her voice had changed from the sweet woman calling my name to a deep distorted growl. Or maybe it was my head.

A cool kiss of wind on my cheek, let me know we were outside and brought me out of my fog. “You could see her,” Nate whispered as he lay me down on the grass, just as the world began to stop spinning.

The other boys on watch encircled us pouring their flashlights into my face. “What happened?”

“Get that light out of my face,” I said, holding my hand up to block the light. I held my head as I tried to sit. What was I going to say to them? I began to panic as the thought of my secret began to slip. Nate knew my secret. Nate reached over to help me sit. “DON’T TOUCH ME!” I wasn’t sure what was going to come out of my mouth next. “He tried to kiss me!”

Emilia’s Awakening: Chapter Three

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Missed previous chapters? Start here: Chapter One, Chapter Two.

The bare branches of fall painted skeletons on the siding and their shadows danced under the gaze of the moon. I swallowed hard following Nate closer to the house. The pulse vibrating deep under my skin only grew stronger with each step.

Why would Vanessa do this? She stood with her arms crossed and a smug half smile smeared on her face. She knew I wanted Brad to stay with me, at least he would have been a good distraction. Maybe she thought I would chicken out. But Nate… why did she pick him?

I might have thought Nate was cute in my old life. He was slender but not scrawny, maybe like a soccer player would be. He pulled down on the black beanie and fiddled with the zipper on his jacket before glancing back at the group. They huddled around each other. There’s strength in numbers I hear, and they were content in letting us fend for ourselves. They don’t even know what resides in that house and I bet not one of them would have taken our place.

“Move,” I shoved Nate to the side and yanked the padlock off, and the door opened like it was inviting us in. A low rumble of “ooh’s” came from the crowd of boys behind us. I was ready for this night to be over. Maybe it was the general creepiness of the house, or it was the pulsing itself, but none of me wanted to go in there. It felt bad. It felt wrong.

When the door slid open, the wind angered the dust that lay dormant on the floor, twisting it into an unbreathable fog. The dust dried my mouth and coated my lungs, but I pushed through the cloud until we reached the opening on the other side.

The house seemed untouched. Not even a sign of rodents or birds disrupted the dust on any of the surfaces, but our own shoes left distinct footprints on the hardwood floor. I stepped light, trying not to kick up another dust storm. I didn’t know the last time the house was occupied, but the furniture remained covered like it was just waiting for its owner to return home from their vacation in Florida.

“Why the hell are we doing this?” Nate objected.

“Because if we don’t, then we have to run through the gym naked. And I don’t know about you, but I would rather get this over tonight then get expelled.”

“Or we could just not do either?”

“That’s not how it works Nate. Stop being a baby.” A breeze floated through the room, making the tiny hairs on my arms stand up.

I rubbed my arms, trying to release the chill that encompassed me. These autumn nights were hard to judge with the fight of the seasons, and I only wore a tee-shirt thinking Vanessa’s house would be the only destination.

“Here.” Nate swung his jacket off and handed it to me, “I’ve at least got a hoodie.”

“Thank you.” I hung my head feeling a little sorry for snapping at him, now that he’d given me his jacket. It was two sizes too big, but the inside was soft and warm, and it smelled like Abercrombie and Fitch. We passed a flight of stairs and went through an archway decorated with vintage white molding. Dark curtains held back by yellow and gold tassels lined the boarded-up windows of the lower floor. A few chairs and a sofa formed a sitting area on the opposite side. This was as good a spot as any to camp for the night. Nate folded the sheet that covered a yellowed sofa to contain the dust. The sofa itself didn’t hold a speck.

Despite the musky smell that attacked my nose when I sat, it was more comfortable than I expected. “What should we do?”

“I dunno. Sleep? At least the night will go by faster.” He placed the flashlight upright on the center table releasing an umbrella of light that illuminated the whole room.

I had to agree. I wanted to get out of here and the faster, the better or at least before she found me. I had no desire to know what the woman in the window wanted. It was strange enough that she hadn’t already found me. Based on past experiences I’d never had trouble with spirits coming to me before. I curled up into the far corner of the couch, opposite of Nate and closed my eyes.

A faint tapping jostled me from a light sleep. I pulled my feet onto the sofa like something from beneath might grab them and pull me into another dimension. Despite Nate’s warm jacket, an icy chill that I was too familiar with swept the room. Right on cue, the flashlight began to flicker. I took a deep breath and tried to calm my heartbeat that only seemed to amplify the pulse that beat through the house. Nate shifted in his sleep and shivered. Could he feel it too?

No, that’s silly. The only other person I’ve met was Sky. I watched the archway near the stairs, waiting for the woman in white to descend, but she never came. I leaned back in my corner of the couch and pulled Nate’s jacket tight up around my neck and closed my eyes.

The chill refused to fade. Sleeping now would be impossible. I flashed my phone screen, 3:02 AM. I pushed myself off the couch, careful not to wake Nate. We both shouldn’t have to suffer this night. I walked back toward the entrance, hoping that the “guards” may have left for the night. But before I even reached the window near the door, light from their flashlights­- or maybe headlights- drew tiny slits on the wall from between the boards.

“Emilia…”  My heart jumped at the unfamiliar voice. “Emilia…” it cooed again. Nate slept soundly on the couch. I expected the woman to appear somewhere, but nothing. Usually, spirits didn’t hesitate, but if there is one thing I knew about the lady in white, she wasn’t typical.

Something drew me to the stairs. Maybe it was my curiosity or the inner detective from my adventures with Sky, but I couldn’t help but follow the voice.

Each step made a creak that I was sure would wake Nate. He only shuffled once, and his soft snores continued. The pulse turned into a pound that vibrated in the floor boards. No color on the upper floor was distinguishable in the dust and darkness. Objects began to form from the moonlight coming in the window at the end of the hall, a dresser of sorts and three doors were all that mark the hallway.

I passed the first door and stopped in front of the second. The pounding halted. I stared at the old wood door and examined its rusty knob, unsure if it would even open. The pounding subsided, leaving in its place the first sense of peace since we arrived. “Come in...”

I stared at the knob for what felt like hours, mostly because my body refused to move. My muscles screamed and fought as I bent my elbow to reach the door handle. The knob protested my entry with the unruly grind of metal on metal, forcing my teeth to clench. Dust and paint fell from the doorway into my hair, as the door finally surrendered and opened.

My eyes begin to adjust to the darkened room, and I covered my mouth to prevent a scream. On the metal-framed bed, lay a woman. Her brown hair tied back behind her head and her hands folded across her stomach. She was not a spirit at all. She was physical, and she was dead.

Thanks for stopping in, chapter four will be released 6/16/17. I hope you are enjoying Emilia’s Awakening. Leave me a comment below with your thoughts and predictions!

Emilia’s Awakening: Chapter Two

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IF YOU MISSED CHAPTER ONE LAST WEEK PLEASE GO HERE BEFORE READING: CHAPTER ONE

I imagine some people would be creeped out by walking through a cemetery, but when you deal with ghosts daily I guess, it’s not really a concern. It’s quite peaceful. The spirits don’t linger there. They are more interested in tying up loose ends to cross over than they are about wandering around an old cemetery.

The oldest part is my favorite. The stones have so many details that modern markers don’t have. Sometimes I like to look up a name or two from them and just tot imagine what their life was like one hundred, maybe one hundred and fifty years ago. If only those were the spirits I talked to, then that would be interesting.

At the edge of the oldest part of the cemetery is an old Victorian groundskeeper’s house. I liked to imagine what the house looked like years ago when its paint was vibrant and not the chipping weathered blue and grays it is now. It must have been beautiful. It’s sad that no one lives there now, and the rumors were true that it’s haunted.

Every day, a woman beckoned to me from the top floor window. She stood there like she was waiting for me to pass. The white gown she wore made of lace crept up her neck, stopping under her chin and wrapped down her arms. Her pleasant grin was nothing more than inviting.

But I didn’t like her. She didn’t feel like previous spirits I’d met. Usually, they brought a chill that vibrated to my bones, but she had a pulse, a heavy pulse. I could feel it much deeper. Like she could reach through my core and into my soul if I got close enough.

I arrived at school and grabbed my history book from my locker and spritzed myself with my flowery perfume. Snaking through the people in the hall, I searched for Vanessa. A passerby bumped into Olivia Wagner, sending her books into a scatter on the floor. She sighed and pushed her red framed glasses up onto her nose before bending down to pick them up.

“People need to watch where they’re going,” I rolled my eyes in the direction the perpetrator went. I grabbed the papers that floated to the middle of the hallway, stacked them into a neat pile, and handed them back to her. “Here you go.”

“Thanks, Emma.”

I remember my first day at Hollis. The sun was shining bright, and the birds were chirping in the light fall breeze. It was like a sign that everything was going to be alright, even though my insides were a jittery mess. I had done everything to prepare for my new life. I dyed my hair a soft ombre blonde and Mom bought me new clothes and makeup. So, when I stepped through those doors of Hollis High School, I would be a new me. Emilia the weird girl who talks to dead people would be the past, and Emma Briggs would emerge from her ashes.

It didn’t take much for people to notice me, something I wasn’t quite used to. But I guess, everyone is always intrigued by the mystery of the new kid. People whispered about me when I walked by, and I began to feel apprehensive like it might all be the same as before. Until, I sat down in my first hour next to Vanessa Miller and people began to fight for seats around her. I knew she would be the ticket to my success here.

Vanessa leaned against the door of her blue locker. Her auburn hair delicately tracked just below her jawline, growing longer as it reached her chin.  Pictures filled with smiling faces lined the inside- many with me. She smiled when she saw me coming. She was effortlessly pretty. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous, “You’re on time today.”

“Mrs. McTally told me if I were late again, she would see me in detention,” I rolled my eyes.

“Maybe if you got a car, then you wouldn’t have to walk.”

“I’m working on it!” I knew that wasn’t going to be a possibility. My mother barely made it on her own. There was no chance I was getting a car until I got one myself, but I had to make Vanessa think that I was.

When the five-minute warning bell rang, the hallway broke into a scatter. Vanessa grabbed her Algebra book from the base of her locker and shut the door. “I’m having a party on Friday. You better be there.”

I smiled and nodded as she paced down the hallway in the opposite direction. “Oh, and by the way. Brad’s going to be there.” She winked one of her big brown eyes at me before spinning down the hall. She knew my dislike for parties, but she also knew throwing Brad into the mix would make it a little more bearable.

That night, I arrived home before Mom and began working on my homework. Our van sputtered into the driveway, and she pulled a square box out of the back of her car.

“Oh, hi honey. I thought you had volleyball practice,” she drifted down the hall and came back around the corner after disposing of the box.

“Nope. It’s Monday, Mom.”

“Oh, right.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing. I had to help Angie clean out Aunt Fae’s house. She passed away last week. It was just some books and things Angie thought I might enjoy.”

I was at a loss for words. Mom didn’t seem too upset, but she didn’t talk much about those feelings, “Are you okay?”

“I’ll be okay,” she nodded, reassuring me.

I didn’t feel a particular way about the news of Aunt Fae’s death. She was my great aunt, and I didn’t know her very well. However, every time I met her, she seemed sweet and misunderstood. Mom’s family tended to call her Kooky Aunt Fae. I could never stand to call her that, I guess because I’m kooky in my own way.

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Music pumped through the surround sound filling every room of Vanessa’s house. Sky and I wouldn’t have been caught dead at this party. We would have spent our Friday night walking around our small town searching for spirits to assist. Now, sitting in Vanessa’s extravagant living room, it’s strange to think about how different my life is. Our life was so simple then, but now everything screamed fancy from the towering windows to the sparkling chandelier that hung in the center of the room.

Some of the girls chatted around me and a group of boys hollered at the top of the balcony that overlooked the room. A six-foot blond had my attention. He leaned back with his hands against the railings in a way that showed off the toned muscles in his arms. I found a cork from a wine bottle sitting on the mahogany end table and rolled it between my fingers. I took aim at Brad’s back and tossed it hitting him in the shoulder. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want his attention. We had been flirting for a few weeks, but nothing official. I was kind of hoping tonight would change that.

He turned, looking over the edge of the balcony, and his grey-blue eyes narrowed on mine. He pointed a finger at me before he sprung down the stairs. I bit my lip, trying to hold back a smile.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he said, slamming his hands on the back of the couch.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I gave him an innocent smile, and he flipped over the back of the sofa, plopping onto the cushion next to me.

Vanessa interrupted our playful conversation, “Okay, Emma. Truth or dare?” Her coffee-colored eyes focused on me. Now that I was curled up next to Brad, I was content with not playing. His arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me in just a little bit closer. Why would I want to leave this spot?

I never picked truth. I’m always afraid they will ask “What is your deepest, darkest secret?” I know I could lie, but I’m bad at it. I always pick dare, but I hated that too, because once I had to use a toothbrush that was dipped in the toilet. I almost threw up. But nevertheless, I picked dare.

“I dare you to stay the rest of the night in that creepy old house in the graveyard,” Vanessa knew how much I disliked that house. Well, as much as I could tell her.

“I’m not staying there you psycho.”

“Why? You scared?”

“Hobos live in there. I’m not staying there by myself.” It was a complete and utter lie, but I hoped it would deter her from pushing forward.

“Fine,” I sighed in relief. Vanessa looked around the room. Her eyes stopped on a boy from my history class. His shaggy brown hair poked out of the bottom of his black beanie. The only thing I knew about him was that he was always up for a good party. I saw it in her eyes before she even said it. “Nate can stay with you.”

 

Chapter Three will be released on Friday, June, 9th, 2017. Drop a comment below I would love to hear your comments on the story as we go. And don’t forget to follow my page, so you don’t miss out on any chapters! 

Emilia’s Awakening: Chapter One

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“Hey! Hey, girl!” I jumped, startled at the sudden outburst. I glared at the man shouting just a few feet from me. His gelled silver hair was combed over, and his gray eyes pleaded for any response. “Please…” his voice softened as he lowered his head.

I sighed, crossing my arms tight in front of my chest, “What do you want?” The woman behind him tried to avoid my gaze by shuffling through the groceries in her cart, picking up the eggs multiple times before setting them in the same spot.

“Tell my wife it’s not her fault.” I followed his eyes to the woman in line just before my mother and me. Her pixie haircut was spiked up into a thick blonde field on the back of her head.

I rolled my eyes and let out a sigh before tapping her on the shoulder to gain her attention. Thick, cakey makeup attempted to hide her wrinkles, and bold black liner circled her puffy pale blue eyes. I suppose it was her attempt to look put together, but I was sure it wasn’t fooling anyone. But who was I to judge? After all, I was the one that had been parading around as a character for the last two years. “Your husband wants you to know it’s not your fault.”

The woman’s body stiffened except for a slight twitch of her lip. Her eyes remained locked on me as she took in what I said. As she lifted her hands to wipe the tears that began to stream down her cheeks, the coffee canister nestled in her arms fumbled and crashed to the floor sending a wave of grounds down the aisle.

My mother grabbed my arm and dragged me from the store, abandoning her cart where we stood. We marched straight to our van with the old rusty fender where she slammed the door shut us in. Sitting in the front seat, I rubbed the red spot on my arm where her nails dug in.

“Do you see what you did to that woman?” I should have known that she was going to throw a fit. Why would it be any different than before? It’s not my fault dead people talk to me. I hadn’t spoken to them in front of her in a while but, I didn’t think it would send her into convulsions.

“God, Emilia.” She sighed. Her brown hair fell forward, shielding her face as she rubbed her temples. “You’ve been doing so well after getting you away from that girl, Sky. I thought you had grown out of these silly pranks.” After all these years…after all the nights I woke her up screaming because a spirit showed me how they hung themselves in my bedroom, she still had the audacity to call them pranks. This happened way before Sky. But she would never admit it.

“Sky has nothing to do with this.” I spat before turning away from her. Blood boiled under my skin. Why couldn’t she understand that? I chewed at my cheek and watched a woman pack her groceries into the back of her silver Mercedes. She was right about one thing though; I was doing better here, but only because without Sky I wasn’t brave enough to be myself. I hid everything about my past, including her.

Sky was the only person I knew like me. But she embraced it. She loved her gift. I think of it more as a curse than anything, and if I could choose, I wouldn’t have it at all. She was part of a past that I desperately wanted gone. That’s why I stopped answering Sky’s calls after we moved. Oh, god, what would she think of me now?

She would laugh at me, no doubt, and tell me I’m a conformist. I’m exactly like the people we said we’d never be. I wear preppy clothes. I have long blonde hair, and my makeup must be perfect. A complete Barbie. I even go by Emma, the name she used to call basic.

Whether she’d like it or not, I needed this life. I don’t come home with bloody noses or black eyes anymore, and I think they like me here. Best of all, my secret stays a secret.

NEXT CHAPTER >>>

Chapter Two will be released on Friday, June, 2nd, 2017. Drop a comment below I would love to hear your comments on the story as we go. And don’t forget to follow my page, so you don’t miss out on any chapters! 

Life, Writing and The Hunger Games.

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Think of the most relaxing time of your life. You’re on a beach with a daiquiri in hand. The brim of your sun hat shadows your face while the rest of your body soaks up the sun. A pool boy walks by to ask if you would like another drink. Why not? It’s your time.

Now, think of the exact opposite because that has been my life.

March has come and gone with a tornado. I started prepping for my store’s inventory in late February but the two weeks before is really the time when shit gets crazy. For those that don’t know, inventory is the one day of the year where an outside company comes in and literally scans every single item in the store. So, it takes a bit of prep time.

I didn’t have a day off from March 9th to the 24th. (That’s 16 days without a day to myself.) Most of those days were 12-14 hour days. I was about to break. Mentally and physically, I was exhausted. When I closed my eyes, I thought of everything I could be doing at the store. I woke up from dreams about problems at the store. Even my sleep was exhausting. Not to mention we were one of the 800,000 homes in Michigan that went without power for three days.

So please forgive me for taking a couple of weeks to un-zombify. So, in my little break I did things like went and saw Beauty and the Beast (It’s amazing if you haven’t seen it!) I also, finished The Hunger Games series –  I know I’m late in the game. I also started writing another project that I am excited to tell you about! But first, The Hunger Games.

I fell in love with the first book. It captivated me and swept me away. Before I realized what was happening, I was anxiously up a tree with Katniss Everdeen staring at a Trakker Jacker nest. I felt everything in that book, and at one point I remember thinking, this is what I want to do for my readers. Then it came to an end. A very frustrating end.

One of my pet peeves is cliffhangers, and I found one. A big nasty one, sprouting little white hairs. Not at the end of chapters but the end of the book. If I didn’t already have the other books, I probably wouldn’t have continued. That’s how much I dislike them.

The second book, I enjoyed. I loved seeing Katniss begin to fall for Peeta. I felt like all the action bits were squeezed into a tiny section of the book and the rest dragged for me. Then, another dang cliffhanger.

Mockingjay. Sigh. I didn’t care for it. I know there is a lot of serious stuff going on, but Katniss was just annoying, moping around and not the heroine that she was in the previous books. I felt like keeping her out of danger made the book boring. It was too political. Yes, I’m happy the Capitol was taken down, but I would have liked to see a little more action and lovey stuff.

Overall, it was a good read. I thought Suzanne Collins did an excellent job of drawing me into the story and that’s what I look for, an escape. However, at one point Katniss said something to Peeta that made me laugh “It’s what we do. We save each other.” (or something along those lines) It always seemed like Katniss was saving Peeta. He was always in trouble and couldn’t fend for himself. I would have liked to see it more evenly split because by the end Peeta just seemed like a burden.

SPOILER!! IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT, SKIP THE NEXT FEW SENTENCES!

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I also would have liked to gain a closeness with Prim. I didn’t even cry when she died (and if you know me, I’m a crier.) I was more upset when Finnick died than I was when Prim did.

Well enough of the things I read. How about the things I wrote?

As I mentioned earlier I’ve been working on a short story. I’ve decided I will debut it on my blog! Each week I will post a chapter on Friday. I’m not exactly sure when the launch date will be yet, but I will keep you posted with more details in the following weeks. I have taken a little break because the 20th marked the one month mark since I finished my first draft of Spark and I’ve started revising that. Tune in next week for the summary!!

Well all, I hope that next week I will be back to scheduled programming. If you have anything you would like me to talk about on a future blog, I would love to hear from you! Until then, Happy Writing.

Traditional or Self-Publish? Oh, the decisions.

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I think I’m writing this more for myself than to provide advice, but I when I started this blog I wanted it to be more than just tips. I wanted to share the honest and real things that I am feeling about this process. I have been flipping back and forth between traditional and self-publishing for months. My manuscript is not close to being ready, and maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but this is on my mind today.

I’ve watched Youtube videos, read copious amounts of blogs/books, read every question that had come up in my writing groups and asked for clarification when necessary. With all this information I still find myself indecisive.

At first, I thought I would inevitably self-publish because no publisher is going to pick up a book about vampires. Plus, royalties are higher, and I have complete control over my book. I can pretty much do everything I could with a traditional publisher, except put my book on shelves at brick and mortar stores. With the way of technology that’s not such a big deal. Other than that, it sounds perfect, right?

Well, now I’m not so sure. For me, there is something about Traditional Publishing that seems so official. Like it’s a token of being able to write because someone wants to sell my book. Part of me is excited about the thought of having my books in stores and having a company support my efforts. Then the other part is absolutely terrified. I’m afraid that this is just another endeavor that I won’t be good enough for and despite all my hard work, I will fail.

Then I started thinking about it, and I have never felt this passionate about something. Hell, I just completed a 74,000-word manuscript and I’m fighting with myself to let it rest until I can start tearing it apart on March 20th. It’s something I am not willing to let fail. Once it’s been rewritten, 5…10…15 times (however many it takes), I need to send it out to publishers.

I will get rejections. I promise you that, but I will not let them break me. These rejections are vital and will have areas that I can improve on, and I will use them to better my work and myself as a writer.

How else will I improve? I’m not completely set on Traditional publishing as my final choice, but I know it is a necessary one. I need to know what the industry wants to see. There is no better way to grow than to have your weaknesses exposed and then overcome them.

Either way I choose, I never want to release my work until it is the best it can be. Until I’ve read it so many times that I am confident in every word on the page.

I hope you enjoyed this more personal blog and I look forward to seeing your work in the future. As always don’t forget to follow my page to keep up on the progress of The Siren Project and any writing tips I find along the way. If you have a topic, you would like me to cover on a future blog feel free to drop a comment below, message me on my contact me page or tweet me @shauna_philp.

Happy Writing!

Shauna

Finding Time and Motivation.

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After announcing that I finished my first draft I had several people ask me how I found the time and motivation to write. Here’s what my daily life looks like, I drive an hour to work, spend ten hours there and then drive an hour back home. So, I technically spend twelve hours a day at my day job. Plus, I have social media accounts I have to be active on. Oh, don’t forget about the everyday things I have to do to keep myself from looking like I just rolled off the nearest park bench from under my newspaper blanket (Some days the struggle is real). Then squeeze in time to write a blog post for the week and work on a story project for my blog. Phew, that just sounds exhausting… and it is.

So these are my five tips to keep myself from losing sight of my dreams.

1.) Write Every day.
You don’t have to write on your current or main project every day. Instead, you could write a blog post or a side project just something to keep the creative juices flowing. After twenty-one days of doing something consistently, it becomes a habit. Now, if I go without writing for a day, I get a little anxious about it. But then again, I get a little anxious about the mailman knocking on the door so, I could just be crazy. I also find that the words flow better too. They seem to glide out on a silver runway rather than be pulled out with spikes on their shoes. It can be a little, or it can be a lot, just write.

2.) Make a schedule.

I don’t necessarily need a schedule to write because I’m afraid giving myself only a limited time or a set time would lead me to obsess over the time rather than the content. The bigger problem is my work schedule varies so, I would have to adjust to a new schedule every week. It’s just easier to be flexible as long as I write something.

I do use a schedule to keep my Facebook page posts consistent and plan out blog posts in advance. Sometimes things don’t always line up with my plan (I don’t think I used one blog post I planned out for this month) but at least I am prepared for the weeks that I need extra ideas.

Now, just because making a writing schedule doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it. Maybe, you could try writing immediately after you get home from work before the kids get off the bus or getting up an hour early for work. Just try out a few different places or times until you find what works for you.

3.) Set goals.

pen-calendar-to-do-checklist

I set monthly goals for myself. For example, for March my monthly goals are:

  • Post on social media daily (I failed at this one for February).
  • Grow my Facebook page by 100 likes (I’m going to try hard, but I’m biting my nails)
  • Finish Emilia’s story for my blog
  • Start my outline for my revisions of Spark (But I can’t start that until Emilia’s story is in the hands of Beta readers).

Setting monthly goals is what has been working for me, but you can try daily, quarterly or yearly goals. I typically write out quality daily goals on my days off. Usually, they consist of writing a blog post, writing a certain number of scenes or writing to a particular point. Then any other miscellaneous things I have to do throughout the day. I find writing them down and being able to cross them off is just a little extra reward.

Another thing you can try is word count goals. I don’t like them very much; it’s kind of like setting a time, I obsess over the word count rather than the content, but it might work for you.

4.) Self Motivation.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaaukaaaajdk2m2zjmgrilwm3mwytngiyyi1hztkwltrimwm0ztzmodm0nqI have always been a self-motivated person. I believe in giving 110% in whatever you do.That explains why by the time I was 23 I was an Assistant Manager for my current employer and I became a Store Manager by 25. I always work hard for my goals, and I don’t let anyone stand in my way. I am always looking for ways to improve myself, and I know to do my best I have to take constructive criticism and apply it. I don’t rely on anyone else to get me motivated.

The only person that will make your dreams happen is you.

5.) Ask yourself, why?

If none of these things give you the motivation to start or finish a project then ask yourself why you want this? If that reason doesn’t make you eager to start then maybe this isn’t what you are supposed to do. I’m not trying to be harsh or mean, just honest and realistic. If your reason doesn’t make you want to jump up and start working then find a new reason that does or explore something else.

For me, I’m passionate about my work, and I want to be able to share my creativity with the world. It’s fun and relaxing to be able to escape to a different place and time. I have people who are excited to see what I come up with and I sure as hell don’t want to disappoint them.

I hope my tips this week have helped you and I look forward to seeing your work in the future. As always don’t forget to follow my page to keep up on the progress of Spark and any writing tips I find along the way. If you have a topic, you would like me to cover on a future blog feel free to drop a comment below, message me on my contact me page or tweet me @shauna_philp.