Jan 16, 2016

Damn, I completely forgot to update this!

Holy crap, I forgot to update this! I was going to wish ya'll a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all that, but whoopsi!

I've been quite busy with writing, family, appointments galore...

So, yeah. Hope everyone had wonderful holiday celebrations!

And while I'm here, you can now grab some perma-discounts of my older self-published books:

Dark Night Skies books 1-3 for .99 cents, and the collection is now 2.99 (from 3.99)
For the Long Haul .99 cents

Find them every where books are sold!


As for the plans for this month and next, I'm going to *ahem* try to redo this blog and my website design. We'll see how that goes...

Dec 9, 2015

Mindful Writing - The Key to Finishing That Novel

Have you heard of mindfulness? I hadn't either...

Okay, so I have been really bad at updating this blog. So in an attempt to post at least once a month, I've decided to share some writing things that not only writers can benefit from.

I am a natural worry-wart. Everyday is something new, but not really: I worry about my kids, I dwell about money, and I ruminate about fears of the future. You know, a lot of people worry. At times these obsessions consume me to the point where I cannot focus on anything else. I grow anxious and depressed, and find myself on a slippery slope.



Well, after my last bout of depression, I began to attend a women's group focused on Mindfulness. I've never been good at sticking through with new therapies. I've tried all sorts of things in the past but nothing really seemed to work. So taking in this mindfulness stuff sounded like another failed attempt,  but I went to group once a week because hell it was better than sitting at home dwelling.

What is Mindfulness? It's simple, really. It's the focus of "one thing at a time". Being mindful of yourself, your surroundings, the babble in your brain at any given time, and then how to focus on only one of those things at a time.

Now, this isn't a raving post to tell you all how Mindfulness actually ended up curing my obsessive thoughts, and bla bla bla, because I still get to be a bumbling worry-wart. In which I am! All the time! But that's okay. :)

But what it did was help me focus on the voices in my head (the worrying) and taught me to stay in the moment without them consuming me. I still fret over sometimes unnecessary things, but now I can obtain whether there is a real threat or if my mind has entered "story mode". LOL That is what I call it anyway. When the mind dwells, it can imagine ANYTHING! It's really just fear and trepidation... your mind is always thinking. And when there's anxiety around it, it tends to throw in worst case scenarios.

After I figured that out, I decided to see if mindfulness could help me in my writing attempts. Yes, the fret and anxiety even took over my most beloved hobby. At times, I would sit and "try" to write, but instead I was thinking all sorts of things: Will readers even like this? What publisher should I send this to? Gosh, I so do not want to edit this when it's time. And over, and over again, I would spend hours fretting, and only have maybe 100 words written. And I considered them all junk.



When I learned about mindfulness, I figured there had to be a way to incorporate that into writing. OMG! I thought using mindfulness in my real life was hard, but trying to apply it to when I was writing? No, fucking way.

How can mindful writing help, then? Well, it takes practice and a "turning of the mind" so to speak. To constantly use the saying "I am just going to write, right now". Because there is nothing else in this moment. No editing, no publishing, nothing. Then, sit down and write. Allow the words to flow, regardless of rules. This is the first draft, nothing matters most than just getting this down.

I'd never been able to write a novel until I sat my ass down and wrote mindfully last year. Today, I have my 3rd novel finished, and ideas for troubled novels that I thought would never see the light.

When I takes notes, I do my research just then. I figure out character names beforehand so nothing disturbs my writing. And if, for any reason I cannot write, I applaud myself for what I have accomplished and plan a better time for myself, usually a couple hours later or the next day.

I've listened to other writers talk about their writing habits and wondered how the hell they do it. Now, I think I've figured out what works for me.

Are you interested I giving it a shot? Even if you're not a writer, mindfulness can help no matter what you apply it to. It just takes 5 minutes. (Okay, this is a 7 minute video, but mindfulness meditations only take 5 minutes.)


FYI: I am not a paid spokesman (or whatever). I truly feel mindfulness works for me, and wanted to share my experience.


Nov 30, 2015

Have you read it yet?

If you never had a chance to read "Project Wasteland" well you're in luck! 

Coming December 10th from Evernight Publishing: 


Operation Wasteland: Aftermath

The "reboot" of the original!

After a great disaster that killed millions, the world turned a sweltering, deserted wasteland. Ten years later, hybrid droid Randy Hawkins is starting his fifth rescue mission for the Rescue and Reconnaissance Unit. In search for survivors, his assignment takes him further south into America than he’s been before, wondering if anyone would still be alive in this desolate tract.

Someone is, and meeting lone survivor Preston turns his resolve upside down. Preston is a caretaker of his own group, keeping them alive no matter what, just like a strong, brave, and gorgeous leader would. Now Randy must decide: follow his mission strategy and persuade Preston to come back with him, or fall dangerously in love with the man, despite the chaos looming ahead.

 



Nov 6, 2015

Best Banter #1 of NaNo2015!

This has gotta' be one of the best conversations I've written in a NaNo, ever...
From Nightscapes and Dreadsongs. NaNo 2105


“If you want a truly good time, I should take you to Benshal someday and we’ll explore the red light district.”
“Red light district?”
“Oh yeah, best time is in late summer when the women are dressed in thin skirts and tops that expose the bottom of their breasts.” Pax cupped his hands in front of his tunic, demonstrating exactly where the shirt ended. “And if you prefer, the men are quite attractive and well equipped.”
“The men?” Aleksi asked a little loudly, earning him an awkward glare from the driver of a cart that was passing by.
“Shh! Not so loud, will you.” Pax steered his pony closer so they could talk privately. “But like I was saying... You’re probably not interested in the men.”
Aleksi shrugged. “I’m more surprised you are.”
“I’ve been wed to both, actually. My first wife was a mage like me, who joined in my pursuit on the sea.” He lowered his voice. “She died during a freak storm when the ship went under.”
Aleksi’s heart panged.
“After that, I’d said I’d never marry again, but I met a man in Benshal. He worked under a peddler in the district. Didn’t deserve his beatings. So I rushed off with him against his master’s wishes and we married aboard the ship I was employed with.”
“What happened to him?” Aleksi wondered.
“He grew seasick much too quickly and begged we drop him off at the nearest port.”
Aleksi gasped. “So you were married to him for a day?”
“More like a few hours.” Pax laughed. “I haven’t been too lucky in love, really. No, the rest of my days have been filled with frequent tidings with crewmates and the whores in Benshal.” He focused in on Aleksi and tipped his head. “Please don’t tell me your still a virgin.”
Aleksi went stark flush. “I believe that is none of your concern.”
“You have then. I can tell by how red your cheeks are.” Pax smiled brightly. “Yep, I think when this is over, I’ll take you to Benshal for your first experience.”
“No, thank you.”
“Oh, come on. You’ll enjoy it. No demands on your part really. It’s all just a game there. If you have the money, of course.”
“I’ll...” Aleksi turned to view the long passage of fields to his right. “Think about it.”

Nov 5, 2015

NaNo 2015 and a Rebranding (of sorts)

Whoo hoo! Give it up for NaNoWriMo 2015! Are you participating?



It's been a few years since I have, but decided to go for the gold and participate in this year's event. Knock on wood, I have a good lead on the wordage and hope to have something to share soon. I will share one thing:

This story is about a man who falls for someone who tries to kill him.

Oooooo....

Lies and deceit - by both MC's

Hmm, I'm not sure what else yet. I'm only to 8k as of this post.

In any case (fuck! It's hard to type this blog post with a sticky keyboard - darn kids.), if you haven't noticed, I've had a few fantasy and sci-fi releases in the last year and a half. Well, this is me "kind-of-ish" rebranding my writing style.

If you've followed along with Azalea over these first four years, you will notice in my biography or my about me was this line:


"She also has a new-found interest in sci-fi and fantasy."

And I have dearly enjoyed the fantasy genre since I discovered my interest in it. What does this mean? This means I will be focusing a lot on writing/publishing fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal, while I leave contemporary alone for awhile.

Seriously?

Yep! Why? Simply because while I still have an interest in it, I just cannot find pleasure in writing it. It's not magical enough. Unless I'm writing urban fantasy, LOL.

So, yes, expect more fantasy coming in the next few years, as well as a continuation to Operation Wasteland,  a re-release of my previously self-published book. And possibly a lot more. *winks*

And freebies! If I can get my arse in gear for those.

Have a wonderful November!