My NEW Writing Space

So much has changed the last few months, including buying my first house. Along with other excitement with owning a home, I finally have an office. I’ve never had a desk and most of my material has been written at a breakfast bar. Wow, things have changed.

There’s not much to it yet, just a desk and a chair. I hope to add a small bookshelf or some artwork. I really want to make this space mine.

I also hope this will enhance my writing and lead to less distractions. Writing in the kitchen was difficult, because I couldn’t tune out everything else I had to do. Once I’m in my office, I focus and get down to business.

I know my posts have been lacking lately. Since I’m finally settled I hope to add more content. Thanks for all the support! It doesn’t go unnoticed and it means a lot.

Let me know what’s in your office and helps you achieve your goals. If you have any decorating tips, let me know because I’m an oaf when it comes to that.

 

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New desk! Cat not included

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WIP Update

A lot’s been happening in my writing life which makes me nervous but excited all at once. My manuscript has been sent to an editor for her to copy edit. I’m not expecting to get my novel back until the end of September. I understand that won’t be the end of the editing process. I’m sure changes will follow and then a final proofread.

On a fun note, I hired a cover artist whose work I’m in love with and can’t wait to see what the outcome is. I’m not artistic whatsoever, drawing a stick figure is the extent of my artistic ability.  Trying to picture what kind of cover I want is difficult but I have an idea in mind. I’m hoping once it’s done it’ll give me some extra motivation!

There’s so much to self publishing it’s overwhelming, but I’m trying to take it one step at a time. I hear formatting the paperback is a pain and there’s no way around it.

I don’t have a specific date when my book will be available. With this being my debut novel, I need to make sure it’s the best it can be. This consists of a lot of time, effort and money. Self publishing isn’t cheap but I hope it’ll be worth it. Holding my own book in my hands is the end goal and I want to be proud of it.

For now I’m going to celebrate the small victories and see how far I’ve come. A glass of wine is in my future.

If anyone has tips or advice feel free to share!

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Pen Name or No?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself for months, do I choose a pen name? So far this has been a tough subject for a few reasons.

  • My first and last name are another authors name
  • My first and middle name are taken from another author
  • I don’t hate my last name, but it doesn’t excite me either
  • I’ve had a few different ideas for pen names and been told they don’t fit
  • When I get married next June, I will be officially changing my last name anyway

So you can see my dilemma! For now, I’m using the name JR Wallace but it doesn’t excite me. I personally don’t like the way it sounds but maybe I’m being too harsh. Since I have nothing published, this isn’t official and I could change it.

From what I’ve read, pen names aren’t copyrighted but obviously it’s a poor choice to chose a name someone else has. The last thing I’d want is to be accused of ripping off another author.

I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this and your experiences. Do you use a pen name or your real name? How did you come up with your pen name? Any thoughts for creating one?

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Writing Diary – July

For the first time in months, it’s been good in my writing life. I also finished a rough draft for a book that takes place in New Orleans. I started it before my trip there, but purposely held off because I knew I’d have more material when I got home. Researching a place and seeing it are two different things. I was able to add small details in the book I wouldn’t have known unless I visited. Especially when it comes to the food. 🙂

It’s a romance novel, which is something new to me. I don’t want to be stuck with one genre because I enjoy them all. There’s several new books I’m reading and may do another Books I’m Reading post soon.

I’m staying positive and know the process doesn’t happen overnight. I can only focus on my journey and improve my craft.

Hope everyone else is having a good month! Let me know what projects you’re working on. writer

Where Do I Go From Here?

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything about my writing journey. To be honest, it’s come to a slow, painful crawl. It’s not that I don’t have material to write about. Finding time, energy and motivation can be difficult. I also have enough rejection slips to build a paper house out of. The voices tell me I’m not cut out to be a writer and I should quit right now. Then again, maybe the traditional route isn’t where my journey needs to go.

I’ve come to a point where I feel like taking a chance, since I have nothing to lose. Something in the works is I’m going to self publish a short story collection. This would motivate me to finish a project and say I’m an author. There’s a few other reasons I’m doing this, one being it is inexpensive for me to achieve. There is a title and a cover all picked out. Hell, the cover is already made. I’ve just been keeping it tucked away while I mull over what to do next.

There’s still a lot to learn about self publishing like formatting, uploading it to Amazon and so forth. I’m looking at this as something fun to do and prove I can do it.

So where do I go from here? I’m going to build my own path. Let me know your thoughts or if you’re in the same boat.

 

No Service

This is a dark, flash fiction piece. 

No Service

Every week I dread it, the drive to pick up my son from his mother’s house. My son isn’t the one I despise. It’s my bitch of an ex and her new husband. They love to shove their new life and wealth in my face. Why else would they live in a mansion in the middle of damn nowhere?

The drive consists of winding roads with no streetlights for miles. Not to mention it’s two hours from where I live.

Stupid bitch.

She did this on purpose.

My hands turn to crank the radio but there’s nothing, just static. Not even one damn channel to listen to. At this point I’d listen to classical, it’d be better than the silence.

Night has already settled in, casting gloominess to my mood. I reach for the bag of peanuts and shove a handful in my mouth.

I round a corner, going faster than I should when something catches my eyes. Someone is lying in the middle of the road.

I swerve to avoid crushing them but the wheel slips from my grasp. The car is reeling out of control as I grip it tight and put it back center.

My feet slam on the brakes as the car slides to a stop. The fresh rain made the road slick and I’m lucky I didn’t drive into a ditch.

My breath is ragged as I calm myself down, thinking of how close I came to losing it. I breathe in and out, just like therapy.

I crane my neck backward, the body still in the middle of the road. Not moving.

“Shit,” I mutter.

I reach for my cell phone to call for help. I dial 911, but get the No Service signal.

“Of course,” I toss the phone in the middle console and step out of the car.

I approach slowly, creeping like a panther. “Hello? Hey Buddy!” I call out.

Nothing.

Silence.

Zilch.

The man’s face is crooked the other way. I kneel down to get a better glance and roll him towards me.

Shit.

It’s him. Her new husband.

Blood pools on the concrete.

He’s in a jogging outfit; someone hit him and took off. Not that I blame the culprit because he’s such an asshole.

“Shit.” I say again. My hands rub the back of my hand till it hurts.

His chest rises and falls, he’s alive. What should I do? There’s no way to call for help. If I move him I could do more damage, but I have to take him with me. It’s the right thing to do, isn’t it?

I mean, I couldn’t just leave him out here, in the middle of the road, dying.

Or could I?

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I Was So Close

Rejections. It happens trying to get published, that first publishing moment takes a while to get. Especially when I felt so close.

I submitted a short horror story a few months ago. The good news is I heard back and the editor said he liked my story. I was stoked! What? Someone liked my story and said it didn’t suck? Did they send it to the right person? There’s my name and my story title. They did! They really liked it!

It wasn’t a rejection. Holy crap! I better bust out the beer and drink to that already!

Fast forward to today, I’d been hoping for that email stating they’d take my story. Unfortunately, it got declined. Not gonna lie, it bummed me out. I felt so close to getting somewhere. So now it’s back to square one; keep writing and improving.

I debated whether I should make this post or not. This blog is about my writing journey and rejection is part of it. Sometimes a lot of it. So I’m going to share the lows and maybe someday I can write about the highs.

Now I’m going to get back to writing.