J is for …

Juggling!

Hey guys, and welcome back for the current installment of the April A to Z Challenge. Sorry about the late post for “I” yesterday, had some family things that needed to be taken care of and ended up forgetting to come on and post it since I forgot to schedule my letter I.

But let us get back to the word at hand: juggling. I’ve talked about this before, so I am going to try and keep this brief. Or at least as brief as my rambling mind can be when I am trying to get words down.

Most writers, at least the ones I talk to and the ones that I work with, can say we do a lot of juggling in our chosen line of work. I know I definitely do. Not many of the writers that I know are able to just write where they have no outside interruptions.

I have several parts of my life I juggle: being a mom, being a wife, being a writer, working a full time job, and that nearly invisible hat right now of wanting to go back to school. Then each of those main hats that I wear and juggle around, have little pieces inside that I have to juggle as well: field trips, shopping, cleaning, laundry, homework, mandatory extra time at work, blogging, social media, novel writing. And I’m not a published author, I’ve seen how many more balls are thrown in the mix when you try to get published. There is a lot more to do like deadlines and signings and such. And I kind of look forward to the day when those extra balls get thrown into the mix of things that I juggle.

So when you are juggling all your hats and balls, what happens? Do you get overwhelmed? Do you have a special way of de-stressing when it comes out and overwhelms you? Let me know!

And for some other J words for you I have:

  • Judgment: So, I think this is my biggest stress-causer in my writing life. I am that kind of person that really looks for getting positive feedback, and hope that I can always please the people I am around. Not the healthiest way to live – especially since you can’t please everyone and I am working on that. But I am slowly growing a thicker skin, especially with this critiquing I have been trying to do more of. How are you dealing with those that judge you and your work?

Take care and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Cara Mia Amore

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I is for … (sorry that it is late!)

Introverted!

I have had a hard time breaking out of this shell that I have built around me. For the past year or so I have really been trying to put myself out there and explore the world around me. To talk to people even when I’m nervous to do so, and make sure I’m not just hiding in a corner.

If you have read any of my entries before, you know that for a long time writing was a very personal, very alone process for me. I rarely shared my work, even to my family. I was scared that they would think it was stupid. Then one day my husband asked to read what I write, and I didn’t want to say no. I wanted to share it with someone even though I was nervous to see what he thought of it.

When that started happening, something lit up inside of me. That light bulb they always talk about going off when you have a revelation. I realized that I really wanted to be part of the community of writers I’ve always read. So I started going out there and blogging, being on Twitter, talking to other authors and agents. Going to readings and signings and doing critiquing. It was a big step.

So am I still introverted? Yes, I still prefer my own company to others; I still do hide away a lot and get nervous in big groups. But I like to think I am a little more extroverted then I ever was before.

Here is another I word for you:

  • Inspiration: This is something I think all writers look to find. In all honesty you can get a spark of inspiration from anything, but it may not always be the spark you want, or fits what you need. This kind of goes back to the whole conversation a few days ago about being blocked. Inspiration is one way of getting rid of that block.

I think that’s all I want to talk about. So I’ll see you guys tomorrow!

 Cara Mia Amore

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H is for …

Hycintha!

So this is Aislynn’s home country. The way I have it working is that it is very similar to set up of America, but more the early America where things were still very, heavily wooded.

 

Hycintha has two governments – at least if you talk to the magical folk. The first is just the natural, elected government that the non-magical people have. Similar, again, to the government we have in the U.S. today. Then you have the government of the people that use magic. Which is currently headed by Aislynn’s family – the leadership in this case is passed down by family members.

 

One thing that the magical people benefit from in their country is the multitude of forests that cover the land. Since the Cats are required to change their form – at least on the full moon, sometimes more – they need the ability to hunt. A nice little benefit from the gods is that there are certain forests that are protected by the gods with a multitude of food to hunt. So sometimes the gods are nice.

 

Like we talked about yesterday, religion is a hit or miss here. Either they believe in a multitude of gods or no gods. Since the Cats are the main focus of the story – other than the Dallians – we focus mainly on their ideas with religions. And they believe in a multitude of gods. They also know how difficult the gods can make life.

 

Technology wise, Hycintha is at the same level we are here in the U.S. – they have phones, computers, cars, running water. All those wonderful luxuries that we have today. When I first started writing the story in this world of Aislynn’s, it was a lot less developed. No technology and in the time of horses and buggies. But Aislynn didn’t agree to living like that, so the time frame changed a lot more to the modern times.

 

I really think that’s all we need to discuss about Hycintha right now. Let’s check out another H word:

  • Haizea: Haizea is Aislynn’s best friend. They grew up together because Haizea’s parents were human and gave birth to a Cat which is a very rare process – non magical people don’t usually give birth to magical children. So, because of this happening, Haizea spent a lot of her time with the Aislynn’s family to learn how to use her magic since her parents couldn’t teach her.

 

Well, that’s really all I have for you today. See you tomorrow!

Cara Mia Amore

Click here for the blog hop

G is for …

Gods and Goddesses!

Aislynn’s world is magical one. Similar enough to ours in technology and environment and the creatures there that it could seem like our own place. But there is one difference and that is religion.

Religion in Aislynn’s world encompasses two polar opposites. Those who believe in nothing and those that believe in many-somethings. The gods themselves do occasionally show themselves to their believers but the people that inhabit Torrest Reyenne (this is the name of her world, we’ll talk about it more on the letter T) and it isn’t normally a good thing if they do.

The gods and goddesses made the people of Torrest Reyenne as a toy for them to play with. The people get punished when the gods see fit. And usually those punishments are drastic. Including the complete “re-do” of the people.

In Aislynn’s story there really isn’t much interference of the gods themselves. Other then Calypsa who is a banished goddess, the Cats and everyone else really gets the assistance of the gods and goddesses. The assignment of the Elementai is a god-given right, but when the four are actually named the Elementai there is no goddess or god that comes and says: “You’re it! Have fun.” Which leaves the four members of the Elementai on shaky ground trying to figure out what they are supposed to do with their magic.

The gods and goddesses have rules that the people with magic are required to follow. The biggest one being the fact that those with magic are not allowed to show their magic to those that are not initiated into the magical world. If they take the risk and try to, or even accidentally, show their magic, the punishment is death. Not only death to the one with magic but the one who saw it used and shouldn’t have. There are other rules and regulations that the gods require their people to follow, but they haven’t truly played a part in the story as of yet. (Yes, I am the writer who has come up with a ton of back story to go with my world, some that doesn’t even play a part in the story I’m writing… I’m a world building addict).

So, the gods in my stories like to ignore their people unless those people are breaking rules, then they REALLY like to punish them.

Do you have god system in your stories?

Let’s see what we have for the other G words in my life:

  • Grammar: Wow, I really suck at grammar. Most of the time I have to really go back and read over what I have to make sure it is grammatically correct. Or I have to have others do it. I don’t know why I am so bad at it, I just always have been. I’m a bad, bad writer.

Anyways, those are the G’s that I have right now. I’ll see you tomorrow for the letter H.

F is for …

Family!

Hey guys, welcome back!

Up to day six and the letter F. I’m going to talk about family in two parts today: as it relates to my own and how family takes shape in my current WIP.

So let’s go through an update on my family:

  • Girls have been down her for five months this month. We are finally getting into a nice settled pattern now. School and activities and everything fun like that. Since school is starting to become more settled, we are trying to get the girls into some extracurricular activities as well. Aurora play flute with the band at school and is looking to take a Tae Kwon Do like her daddy did when he was her age. Aria wants to take dance and gymnastics. Clara wants to do all of that and more. We told her we’d see what we can do.

    They each have now had their conferences and are doing well. Little struggles here and there, but we’re working on those things. At least the struggles they have are workable, they are brilliant girls and they are going to go far with direction that they were missing before now. They are blooming into beautiful young ladies.

  • Todd and I are both extremely happy. Especially since the above bullet happened. We are a nice complete family, all nice and settled together. We were always missing something between visitations before, and now that we have them here for the majority of time, it is a nice feeling of happiness that has rained down on us. Everything is wonderful. This year is going to be our second year of marriage and our sixth year of dating. Looking forward to many years to follow.

 

Other than that, life has been good with my family. Everyone is happy and growing wonderfully.

I also want to mention the support that family offers to writers. Or the support they should offer.

My family has always been there through every decision I’ve made. They support my choices and stand by me. They catch me if I fall and help me right myself. I think that is one of the biggest reasons I got the courage to go after this dream of writing as more than just a hobby. I hope all of you get the support that I get myself because I would never want anyone to try and get through the ups and downs of this journey alone.

Family in Aislynn’s story is important, too. Her life revolves around the choices her family makes. Her parents were murdered, her maternal grandmother is the queen of the Cats, and her paternal grandmother is a goddess out for vengeance. Her cousin is part of the Elementai with her.

Her family is her support system. Just like mine is. Is family an important aspect of your story?

Here are some other F words that wander into my life:

  • Facebook: I’ve had Facebook for a long time. It’s a great way to connect with people, I love the fact that it can find people you haven’t seen or talked to in ages just because of some crazy connection you have through another friend. Or the information you put in your profile. I use it right now mostly for my every day life, but since it is linked to my Twitter it gets a lot of my writerly updates as well.
  • Flow: I think this a big part of writing and very important. When you pick up a book you expect to be able to get through it without feeling like you are jerking around getting whiplash because there is no consistent flow. Along those same lines we, as the writers, need to make sure we keep that promise to our readers so our readers don’t get lost.

That’s all my words for today! See you tomorrow.

Cara Mia Amore

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E is for …

Editing!

Alright guys, this is day five of the A to Z April 2012 challenge. We are up to the letter E obviously.

 

So, as a writer, this is a topic we should all be familiar with. We edit the words we say, because, if we didn’t, most of the time those words end up being crap. Admit it, you know I’m right.

 

I know when it comes to me, when I write the first draft, everything is very rough. I just try to get it all down as fast as it’s writing itself in my brain. If I don’t then I run into blocks. After I’ve gotten chunks of things written, usually a few chapters, I’ll go back through and lightly edit for grammar and misspellings. That’s my process and I like to go with that because that means, I’m not doing a lot of little edits when I finish a draft.

 

Usually those first edits are very basic. Grammar, misspellings, wrong words (admit it when you are writing in a word doc and it auto corrects you have to go back and change the word to the correct ones).

 

Sometimes if I get blocked on a current scene that I am working on, I will chunk a few chapters together and go through it. Just reading and picking up things I want to fix. I make notes! And those notes build up. I critique myself (yeah not the greatest thing to do – I do have others that do it as well) and ask questions I think would come up if I ignored the facts floating in my head. If that doesn’t spark something new to be written, I might work on something that is a bigger edit.

 

Like I mentioned above, I do have others critique my works. A lot of the notes I get from those critiques get edited in ASAP if I think they are important. Other wise they go to my notebook of questions floating around.

 

So, that jumbled bit of information is done with, let’s talk about some other fun E words:

  • Elementai: This is a term from Aislynn’s word. The Elementai are a four-some of people that are there to protect the world of magic from being abused or shown to the non-magical community. Especially those not initiated in to the world. As the name points toward, each of the four people that are in the group represent a different element: fire, water, wind and earth. Aislynn becomes one of the Elementai and so do Douglas, Silvanius and Haizea.

 

That’s it for today, folks. See ya tomorrow.

Cara Mia Amore

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D is for …

Dallia!

Okay, so I have vaguely mentioned Dallia before. It is one of the lands in Aislynn’s world. A proudly magic free land. Oh and human free – except those held by slavery. I’m still working out how it specifically works with the human world that is part of the story. In all essence, it is an avoided land. I haven’t decided why yet or why they haven’t been ‘invaded’. Still working on that aspect, human life – by this I mean those that either don’t have magic or those that are unaware that it exists – doesn’t play a big part in my story. A lot of the story is focused on the magical world.

 

Dallians are tattooed people. Both men and women ritualistically tattoo themselves in a deep blue color. Designs and new markings are added at specific milestones in their lives. They get their first tattoos when they are three – which they qualify as the ‘birth’ of their life despite the fact that they were physically born before, their lives truly start when the have the cognitive ability to truly relate to their surroundings – and continue to get them through their lives. Those that are of poorer standings have a rough hue to them, they are jagged and mostly done by a family member. Those that are rich have beautifully done tattoos done by people who have trained to specifically do them. You can tell the social standing of the people just by the quality of their tattoos.

 

The gods revoked all magic from the Dallians after a great war between the humans and the magical folk in millennium past. Those of the Dallian race were the worst offenders during the war – they abused the rules and those without magic – and now have no magic to call their own. The humans had the memories of these battles wiped, but the Dallian still hunt those ignorant to the magic of the world and use them as slaves. The Dallian’s rebellion is focused on destroying all known magic in the world – including Aislynn’s people.

 

The Dallian king, Ant’llen has been working with royal family of the Cats. Trying to avoid war and to stop the different rebellious factions that have sprouted up through the years. Including Cadeyrn’s faction.

 

So really that is all I want to say about this right now, because if I go too far into it I think I’ll give too much away. So here are some more D words for you:

  • Douglas: Fictional character. He sees himself in deep like with Aislynn. Aislynn is not so sure what she feels about him, but she is drawn to him. He is part of the Elementai – more on that later – and stands as Aislynn’s opposite.
  • Drafting: How many drafts are too many? I don’t think there is a set answer on that. I think as writers, we rewrite until things are perfect. Red pens universally mark up hundreds of things in printed documents as we edit. If you are a plotter, you might be able to get a way with only a few rewrites up to when you feel it is perfect. But first-drafting is a “get it out there” process – at least for me – and I don’t always follow a plan so things in the beginning from a first draft don’t always match up with things in the middle or the end, the drafting process allows you to take from very rough to very sparkly, with several stops in the middle.
  • Dialogue: I have a problem with dialogue. I use it to info dump. I’m a bad, bad girl and I really need to work on it. Nothing much more to say on that besides I suck.

 

See you tomorrow!

Cara Mia Amore

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