Random Image Day!-#38 (Closing the day)

A few days ago, “The End” was quietly and comfortably typed into a word document. Book 4 of The Keeper Chronicles was finished, a title yet placed, a goal still unfinished. I did the normal self-congratulations, followed by copious amounts of food and drink. I earned it, I deserved it. Still, something was missing.

It was probably the first time in my writing career I actually wrote, “The End” on the last page of a series that has consumed my life in thought, in finger pain, in character development. What started as a baby had now grown into a bus of elderly people heading to a nearby casino. It wasn’t the end per se, it was the knowledge it soon would be. The last book, the last entry in a series that has grown in leaps and bounds from what started from a tiny seed in the back of my mind was approaching.

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Book 5 will be the last in this offering, the Keeper Chronicles will soon be put to bed. It may be the finale, but it will never truly be the end although it sort of feels that way. Spinoffs are possible, a series expanding that world is also considered, but it won’t be the same. I’m shutting one door, but refusing to lock it.

New goals and directions will soon pop up. They’ll be different and that’s ok in its own right, but people I know sometimes better than myself, even if they only exist in my mind, won’t be included in the fun. An old friend is leaving soon and even though I can still see them waving from a car window, soon they’ll drift from view. It’s understandable to see the end of the road and rejoice in the journey but also understandable to want to linger as long as possible if only to wrap myself in the comforts I’ve created.

As a writer, be it long-running published or aspiring first-time drafter, where do you go when “The End” is truly the end? Be it one book or a multiple of creations, do you get the feels, the emotional struggles? Do you pick up and jump into something else right away or do you let the whispers of that world slowly fade in time? Have you thought about it, have you acknowledged it? I’m curious.

As I dive into editing and bringing myself into the Holiday spirit, I’ll take pride in accomplishing so much for myself. In the stillness of a winter night, I’ll look to the stars and send up a little prayer for the experience, for all the people I’ve met, for all the learning I’ve acquired in this wacky world of writing, and for what’s to come with new stories, new characters, new situations. In addition, a prayer with a smile about the time spent with old friends nestled between book pages for a lifetime.

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Keep writing, keep creating, keep inspiring!

 

 

Random Image Day!-#37 (Finding my way)

As November rolls along and we gather for our holiday grazing, I find myself reflecting back on my very first year, and a couple of months within the world of writing and being an author. Way back in July of 2017 I released my very first book after roughly 2 years of working on it. The Keeper Chronicles was birthed, so to speak. I didn’t know what I was doing, in some cases, I still don’t. After several long moments of disbelief and giddy wonderment, it was out there, a piece of me, a vision created from my mind. I still get that feeling with each new release, I still feel like “did I just do that, again?” and it never gets old.

As I recently hit the 50k word mark on The Keeper Chronicles Book 4, yes I can’t believe it either, I took a moment to remember all that I’ve learned, all that I’ve discovered, and all that I wished I would have forgotten. I entered this world of authors a newborn, the scars and hard edges a testament to my craft, the crippling doubts, and feeling of busted self-worth free of charge with every entry. Listed below are just a few of those…

  1. Nothing you can do besides writing will ever get words on paper. Trust me, I’ve tried. Push past lazy days and worthless feelings and just write. No magic spell, no superpower, no sneaky ghostwriter that lives in the basement will ever finish that line, that chapter, that book except you. Do it!
  2.  Social media is both a boon and a curse, a necessary evil. One can lose hours branding, catching up, hanging out, and picking up tidbits of useful information from others. Befriend those in your genre, those outside it. Share the love and retweet, favors and virtual handshakes go a long way to making your dream a reality and making someone’s day. Utilize, share, collect, learn, and leave, there’s writing that needs to get done! Come back to it later, don’t make it a full adventure every day.
  3. No one’s path to print is ever the same. Trust everyone, trust no one. Learn, research, read, and watch. Take everything you’ve collected with a grain of salt and find your own way. There’s no definitive guide only “this is how I did it” or “watch me” all of which help but no one is going to make that decision except you. Traditional or self-publish is your call and both come with their own courses of action. Ask questions, draw experience from the process.
  4. Be proactive, about everything! Write your blurb, study formatting tips, editing options, and research cover ideas while shopping around for a decent and fair price or make your own if you’re artsy. Make the decision for you, for your work, for the driving force in your head that says “this is what we want” and never be swayed by people’s assumption, opinions, or personal choices.
  5. You’re going to forget a step, maybe two or more. Don’t get discouraged. Make a list, carry on, learn from your mistakes.
  6. Never look at someone else’s mountain, climb your own. In the world of writing there will always be someone ahead of you, someone always behind. Never judge, never become envious, and never ever look back unless it’s to extend a hand to someone just starting out. Learn from those ahead, help those behind. Remember, you too once sat looking at a blank screen as visions of storylines danced in your head.
  7. Read when you can! Read other writers in your genre, read books outside your own. Study how their stories flow, understand the process and enjoy. Mostly all authors are readers, all readers are not always authors. Read indie books, those people are your tribe, for the most part. Leave a review, share the love.
  8. Join clubs, Facebook groups, or writing communities only if you love the idea of what’s offered and want to be a part of it, or if it’s going to serve your pursuits to be involved. If it requires time sinks that pull you from writing, consider and weigh the cons and pros. Some are great and worth the additional time and effort, some will drain your energy, time, creativity, and wallet quicker than a trip to Vegas.
  9. Dare to dream, live to create. Use memories, senses, and people around you for inspiration. Never let someone tell you that you can’t put that in your book, it’s yours, it’s your baby. If you want purple rhinos and a cross-dressing ninja that smokes a corncob pipe in your book, do it! If it makes sense to you, if it fits into your idea, vision, creation, run with it!
  10. Feel free to give yourself all the hugs and all the pats on the back once you finish. Be it a sentence, a chapter, a full book, you deserve it. It’s an accomplishment and others, just like you, understand the struggle, the work, the turmoil of having done it. Don’t expect the praise, don’t live for acknowledgment. Be proud of yourself and let that creative light shine on regardless of who thinks otherwise. You did good, well done, congratulations and welcome to the club! Much love, much respect!

 

As I draw my sword and continue to trek upwards upon my own mountain I take everything I learned along the way, some to the heart, some to the head. I have found my way, my path, sometimes completely alone, sometimes alongside word warriors much like myself. Are there words of wisdom, or lessons learned that I forgot, probably. Is there more to learn, hell to the yes! It’s been a journey and it’s one that I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Have anything you’d like to share? Are there any lessons of tidbits of information you want to include?? Let me know! Just don’t take too long, there’s writing to be done!

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Photo Credit: The Old God of the Northern Mountains by Bjarke Pedersen, 2016. Website at, https://www.artstation.com/bjarkepedersen

 

 

Poetry Friday & Book Launch! — The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q

Welcome, everyone! I am beyond excited today! Firstly, the 2nd novel in my Fantasy Angels Series, “Son of the Serpent” is released today on Amazon (eBook). Secondly, I just received an amazing 5 STAR review from Readers’ Favorite for Son of the Serpent. I am so happy! REMINDER: You can still purchase Son of the Serpent […]

via Poetry Friday & Book Launch! — The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q

Poetry Friday ~ Afraid & Grave

The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q

Hello, everyone! Welcome.

I’m taking part in Colleen Chesebro’s Halloween edition of Tanka Tuesday. I’m sharing an Etheree poem today.

halloween-Colleen Chesebro-Tank_Tuesday-etheree-angel of death-Poetry_challenge-Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz VegaAuthor, Colleen Chesebro

Afraid and Grave are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challengeevery Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Poetry_Friday-Halloween-Vashti Quiroz Vega-angel of death-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-etheree-poem

Angel Of Death

She

extends

bony hands

don’t be fearful

The angel of death

where she leads you follow

to your final resting place

into the darkness this night…

View original post 74 more words

Random Book Review-Church Mouse: Memoir of a vampire’s servant by R.H. Hale

Halloween is almost here and what better way to celebrate than with vampires and creepiness lurking in the dead of night! I recently finished R.H. Hale’s book, Church Mouse: Memoir of a vampire’s servant and left a review. If you like creepy, supernatural, and horror in a collective swirl of spooky goodness give it a shot, but don’t blame me if fear sets in and you wake up at 3am thinking someone is watching you, they very well may be! 😀

Posted below is my review posted on both Amazon and Goodreads!

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5 out of 5 stars!

In R.H. Hale’s novel, vampires are reimagined in a gripping supernatural tale that haunts long after the final page is turned. With Hale’s mastery, this offering explores the darker side of life and the creepier side of our greatest fears, all with fangs and shadows aplenty. It’s seen as human frailty meets immortal hunger when needs and wants blend flawlessly with desires and cravings.

In, Church Mouse, readers are presented with the main character of Rona Dean, a child lost, an adult even more so as we bear witness to the world through her eyes thus setting the stage for the darkness that soon follows. Down on her luck and forced to reevaluate her entire life, Rona will soon find that the one place she always felt the safest will be the one place she struggles to escape alive. Blending the past and present in expert memoir detail, Hale takes her readers deep inside Rona’s driving forces while gently offering whispers and hints at the human condition evident in her main character and within ourselves.

Joining Rona as she lives in and explores the shadowy confines of a large and very old church, we are introduced to several characters all with different personalities and weaknesses. Hale masterfully showcases each character as having more than one side, a skill that increases the tension throughout her work. Friend or foe weave together with each addition to Rona’s life as caring becomes cruelty and, much like in our own private world, what one sees is not always the truth.

Love them one minute, hate them the next as we are treated to a game of cat and mouse with no clear winners, no safe players. Hale purposefully baits and switches her characters traits, views, and overall personalities creating an atmosphere of light and dark, confusion and compassion much like the world Rona finds herself in that mirrors our own daily lives. How do you trust when switches continuously flip and the game constantly changes?

Dripping with historical references amid some modern surroundings, Hale takes her readers on a slow-burning vision of supernatural shadows and the creatures that fairytales warn us are lurking deep within the darkness, some even more ferocious within the light. Staring deeply into troubled souls and understanding the plight of mere mortals, Hale exposes the fears and shortcomings of more than just the characters she has created. Expertly detailed, she brings the haunts with penetrating effectiveness that seem to sink their teeth into flesh keeping everyone on edge before her prose allows the creepy to rush readers headlong into horror.

While not a quick read, Hale’s work will engross many a reader long after the sun sets and darkness rises across the land. Her in-depth descriptions and tightrope walking of characters and their well-being within a creepy world of shadowy danger will entice throughout. Considered a tale of horror, readers will no doubt find that beyond the bloodshed there is hope, beyond the examination of the psychological constructs of human nature comes a glimpse of the metaphysical, and beyond the grip of death a spark of life. Highly recommend!