life curation

Book Publishing: Latest Updates

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday to you all. I wanted to quickly stop in and give you all updates on the publishing of my first book.

As you all know, I finished writing and editing my first book earlier this year. So after moving past my own internal resistance, I forged ahead with publishing. I’m still learning about Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and tinkering with the format of the book so it renders the way that I want. Right now, the pages don’t look like how I want them to look; that is unacceptable. I’ve done too much work on this project to drop the ball and get sloppy at this stage. Once I get the formatting right, I’ll be well on my way.

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Between the blog and my book, I’ve been busy

There’s a lot involved with taking a book from idea to published, but it’s been an educational process. I’m proud to make it this far, but I have to see this through to the end before I’m truly satisfied. If you’re inclined, please send me good publishing vibes! I’ll keep plugging along, and I’ll keep you all posted on what’s happening as I go through the process.

Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Gwendolyn Brooks

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“We are each other’s magnitude and bond”¬†– Gwendolyn Brooks

On this 18th anniversary of her passing, I wanted to share some quotes from Gwendolyn Brooks, a poet and author that I learned about as a child but had somewhat forgotten as an adult.

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It’s not that I don’t recall the words to “We Real Cool” by heart (because I do). But as with many things, we get exposed to new art, new poetry, new thoughts . . . And that which we knew as children tends to fade a bit. While thinking about some of the people I wanted to feature in the “Words of Wisdom” series, Brooks popped into my mind. I remember being a young girl and seeing the announcement of her passing in a magazine that I was reading. She lived a long and full life, and we are fortunate that she decided to share her talents with us.

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She was the first African American to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. She captured life in Chicago during the post-Depression era, and her writing straddled the fine line of writing honestly while preserving the dignity of her subjects. She was also Illinois’s Poet Laureate in 1968 and a Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for the Library of Congress.

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Brooks led a particularly quiet life: she was a wife and mother. She lived in Chicago all of her life, and found her inspiration among the neighborhoods where she grew up and raised her own children.

In memory of Gwendolyn Brooks: thank you for your work.

 

(Photos courtesy of majeherself, AZQuotes, wordsonimages, and Rhapsody in Books)

 

life curation

NaNoWriMo Updates: Tomorrow is the Last Day

Happy Thursday, y’all! This has been quite a November to remember. . . I’ve been working on a lot of projects, and as a result, my writing suffered this month.

Of all months for my writing to suffer, it happens during NaNoWriMo.

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I didn’t meet the 50k goal for NaNoWriMo 2018. I got to 20k, which is still impressive, but nowhere near what I intended for the month. So I’m frustrated with myself right now. I wish I could have rearranged my affairs so that I could pour more time into my writing, but the truth is, this just wasn’t a good month for it.

One of the things I’ve been actively working on is being gentle with myself. No one is more disappointed in my failings than I am, so if I am going to own my shortcomings, I also have to give myself room for grace. I’m at a point where I’m doing the best that I can with everything that I do but it doesn’t always turn out how I want it to.

And that’s okay.

On the upside, I haven’t given up on this story. I’m still going to reach my 50k words and when I do, I’m going to rejoice! Until then, I’ll keep plugging along.

Enjoy your day, loves! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

life curation · reading list

2019 Planning – For The Sake of Writing

Today, I’m babysitting a few of my favorite munchkins, so today’s post will have to be a brief one. They’re keeping me busy today LOL!

I’m making my 2019 plans and I realized that I really want to do a writer’s workshop/retreat. I haven’t ever done anything like that before, so I’m eager to give it a whirl. I think my writing would benefit from a vacation/trip dedicated to it. I know that my writing is better when I am in a different environment, so a retreat seems like a natural choice.

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I did a quick search on Google and found this list of 37 (yes, 37!) writers retreats that occurred in 2018. I figure that these will be the same in 2019 as well; at very minimum, most of these retreats are probably recurring. I also found this list with 8 more retreats (I only saw one retreat that was a duplicate from the list of 37). The 40+ retreats on these lists have a lot of options at different price points, and all of them are centered around creating better writers.

If any of you’ve done one of the retreats listed, please tell me all about it in the comments below! Also, if you know of a different retreat that isn’t on either of the lists, PLEASE tell me all about it! I’m still deciding which one would be best for me, and I could use some input for anyone that knows more about them.

Enjoy your Sunday (I know that I am!) and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

NaNoWriMo Week 2 – Updates

Happy Thursday, friends! I’ve completed my first two weeks of NaNoWriMo and I’m excited that I’ve been writing (basically) every day since the challenge started.

I’m at 15,000 words now, which means I have only 15 days to write another 35,000 words (whew, I’m tired just thinking about it!) But I’m committed to seeing this challenge through. I’ve got a few more days off during the next two weeks and I’ll focus on doing large chunks of writing during those days. My story is moving along nicely, though I’m not taking much time to reread – and not time to revise – as I write.

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I’ve found it helpful to write without doing any editing. You end up losing a lot of time because your brain “shifts gears” and you lose your momentum if you try to write and edit simultaneously. Unfortunately, the finished product ends up being quite “rough”, but it is a rough draft, after all. If it doesn’t come out as clean as you’d like, you can always edit, edit, edit it until it’s perfect. That’s what I always end up doing, and that’s what will happen with this book, as well.

So I’ll be putting my head down and focusing on getting all of my writing done over the next several days. Can I reach 50,000 words by November 30th? I think so. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Lorraine Hansberry

“Never be afraid to sit a while and think” – Lorraine Hansberry

Talented, intelligent, and gone too soon: Lorraine Hansberry was an award-winning playwright and activist. She, like many other Black American writers during this time, captured the smoldering inner turmoil and external conflict of ambitious Blacks living in pre-Civil Rights America.

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I recently came across a photo of Lorraine while looking up information on another writer and, as always, I was drawn in by her soulful eyes and sweet smile. Behind her wholesome beauty was a gorgeous brain: her writing talents got her critical acclaim and earned her the spot as the youngest playwright to ever have a play produced on Broadway. She is also the youngest winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.

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I really resonate with her thoughts regarding the path of the creative. Embracing her talent meant encountering feelings of loneliness, over-familiarity with the lows of life, but also an undiminishable hope in a more beautiful and brighter future. Her positive view of life inspires me tremendously.

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“I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful and that which is love” – Lorraine Hansberry

(Photos courtesy of AZQuotes and Pinterest)

life curation

Excited for NaNoWriMo

I can barely contain my excitement. It’s NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writer’s Month, for those that have never heard of it before. This is possibly my favorite month of the year, because no other month gathers so many writers together to churn out a novel within 30 days.

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Now, a novel written in 30 days won’t necessarily be the next great American novel, but the main thing is to get into the habit of writing daily and capturing your creativity in words. So many people want to be writers, yet, they never can quite get their time or support network together to undertake the task. So their great book remains unwritten and inside of them. It’s tragic, really: how many of us were changed by something that we read? Imagine how many additional life-changing moments are out there, sitting the recesses of someone’s mind.

NaNoWriMo is especially beneficial for me because I love having a clear goal that I can work towards. 50,000 words in one month? Lofty goal, for sure, but completely possible. What’s really great about NaNoWriMo is that there are Meetup groups that form specifically to support one another during this month. I may attend a gathering before the month is out.

Are you all participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, please let me know in the comments below!