Disease, Ren Faire and a Word on Writing

I can’t say that I’ve gotten terribly far on my writing since the last post, but some things are getting slowly figured out.

Mainly, what I’ve got going on health-wise. I don’t know just how long I’ve been having problems, but it’s most likely been the better part of nearly two years that I haven’t felt right. I started having panic attacks and insane anxiety a year ago. Last winter I was on depression meds and throughout that, though more-so this year, I’ve been dealing with crippling fatigue. As a writer and an artist in general, I’m so sick of the brain fog and not having the ambition to get anything done. An artist that can’t find the motivation to create makes for a very sad person. In June my doctor said that I initially tested positive for Lupus, but we’ve since found out that that was a false positive. Right now, the diagnosis stands at Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – essentially an auto-immune disorder where your immune system attacks your thyroid and you more or less end up with Hypothyroidism. Not the greatest diagnosis ever – it’s something that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life – but it’s a definitive answer and a starting grounds for working to achieve a level ground where I feel better and can return to getting things done. I started a thyroid medication last week and have also undertaken a gluten-free diet. So far, I’ve felt pretty good, so let’s hope it holds.

Once again, haven’t gotten a terrible amount of things done, but right now it’s more a process of gathering together my projects and determining which I have the motivation for and what hold’s precedence.

And that is definitely writing.

Even on that front, I guess I haven’t been quite as lazy as I had originally thought. The chapter for the second novel that I felt like I had been writing for ages ended up being 21 pages long. I’ve written one more subsequent chapter for that novel and have since finally put the second book aside for right now. I’ll admit that with everything going on and spending more days sleepy rather than motivated I didn’t manage to finish the section that I had previously spoken of wrapping up before moving on. But, that’s okay, as I’ve since decided, due to thoughts of the second book still fresh in my mind, that I’m still doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I will save the fifth book for another year and work on the second. I know that NaNoWriMo is meant to challenge authors to write 50,000 words of a new novel, but there are no definitive rules. To me, the main point of National Novel Writing Month is to do just that: Write. And I most certainly have another 50,000 words in me for Isle of Hell. If all goes well, granted I get my motivation back by then (I certainly hope so!) then I just may even be able to finish the first draft for the second novel. What an excitement that would be! I would then be able to use my CreateSpace coupon to print that out just because, especially since I already have a cover idea in mind for that.

Speaking of printed books, I don’t think I ever posted a picture on here of my printed copies. My writing in general isn’t the only thing that’s been suffering throughout trying to come to a diagnosis. Regardless, as promised, some months ago:


I even got my map in there, looking all nice. So relieved about that, because I was thinking beforehand that I would have to redo it entirely to make it look nicer. But, apparently, I had nothing to worry about as it looks great.


Once again, this is only what I’m calling my ‘test copies’ and really they’re not even that. These are a random printing of my first draft. I initially had them printed because I didn’t want to go another year letting my CreateSpace coupon for two free printed copies to go to waste. And, because I wanted to see just how long this thing really would be. I’ve definitely created a weapon – over 500 pages. Also, it’s a very different feeling to have something I’ve worked on for eight years in print, actually able to pick it up and see what I’ve accomplished. Not to mention, it does seem to change the ways people look at you as a ‘writer’. I honestly wasn’t expecting the response I’ve gotten from it or the rabid interest. I guess that I had just gotten used to the people going, “Oh, you’re writing a book? That’s nice” when you tell them you plan on being an author. Apparently, having an actually copy to wave around makes it all the more real and shows people that you aren’t just words; you’re lots of words on a printed page. It’s just really neat to see the response to something tangible as opposed to just the idea. It just leaves me wanting to finish the final draft and get it printed all the more, especially since I’ve had a ton of people wanting to buy it.

If I can get all my medical issues straightened out and actually working daily on it again, I’m really hoping for a Winter release, maybe as early as December, though I’m definitely not going to rush it. One thing I learned from printing the test copies, is that formatting is a lot of work, especially if you’re going to undertake the self-publishing route all on your own. I actually quite like the detailed process of it, but it’s certainly not something you can do in one day, especially when you’re novel is as long as mine.

So, second book set aside for the time being, and a renowned motivation to work on the first, I’ve spent the last few days rereading what I had already rewritten and revised last year for the first novel. I’ve got about another 50 pages to finish up to get be back to where I left off and hopefully I can jump right back into the writing. Though I’m definitely going to rework and tighten up the remainder of the first draft, I’m already over halfway (something I didn’t realize until I saw it in print) and there’s really only one more section that I want to fully rewrite from scratch. So, hopefully the remainder of the book won’t take as long as the first half. We will see. I might even play around with the idea of adding a few illustrations as title headers, granted I find the time, the motivation and the talent.

Now, as this post is getting long, one last thing:

This weekend marks my return to the Renaissance Festival and I’m extremely excited about that! I really wish that the festival went on all throughout the year, but if there’s any place in the world to help me regain my imaginative spark, Holly Grove would be it.Not only do I revel in the atmosphere down there, but the Holly Ren Fest in particular is what the Ren Fest of Fireswell in my novel is directly based upon. I’ll admit, I’m a mixture of lazy and still enamored by my outfit from last year and plan on reusing my Warrior Fae costume. Though, I do have some elf ears and some grey contacts to add to it this year.

The good news through all of this, if you’ve managed to slog through all the writing, is that I can tell just from this blog post that I’m starting to regain much of my motivation. Writing just feels good again and second nature, as it should. So, look for a lot more to come in the next few months.

All that said, I leave you with one last picture that I took of a test run of my warrior fae a few nights ago during the full moon. Still working to understand my new camera, but I LOVE this picture.



Pirate Cove, Fire Shows and archery show offs

As mentioned in the previous post, this is essentially part II of my Tall Ships experience from last weekend. Now, as this coming weekend dawns upon us, I figure I better get this typed out before I forget altogether.

Sunday was the day that we actually paid to get into the festival, and we basically ended up lingering in the same area the whole day, not that it was a bad time. The fact that I was so interested in the area that they deemed Pirate Cove is pretty much why I never left. They had an area set up to test your skills at knife throwing and archery. One thing you will likely learn from this blog is that I’ve recently gotten into archery and I love it, so of course I had to try my hand at that. Not only have I certainly improved from when I first picked up a bow, I think I actually ended up showing up the guy that was actually working there. The booth was quiet when I approached it, so it was just me shooting. He gave me ten arrows to shoot and since there was no one else, picked up two bows and jokingly asked which one of us would get the most bullseyes. I found it a little irritating that he looked at the long bow he was going to hand me and then seemed to think better of it for a moment, asking me if I could pull the weight of it, almost like he saw me as a weakling girl who didn’t know archery. Let’s just say that I probably made him think twice. I got plenty of arrows close to the bullseye, one actually in the center, and all of my ten hit the target somewhere. At least two of his arrows he shot off into the surrounding hay. So, what can I say, I was rather amused with myself. I’m actually really interested now to someday enter into the archery competition down at the Renaissance Festival. Apparently, I’m not half bad.

As for the rest of it, I met the author of Hook & Jill, Andrea Jones. The book is a spin off of Wendy’s story from Peter Pan, and though I’ve never actually read Peter Pan (can’t even say with certainty that I’ve seen the animated movie) I’m excited to start reading it. Not only that, but I talked with Andrea for awhile discussing selling books at festivals like the Tall Ships and the Ren Faire and got some good information on that as well as publishing. It’s always good to talk to authors and research, because one day – hopefully soon – I’m going to be in the same boat. A boat that’s going to be much harder to keep afloat since I plan on self-publishing.

And then there’s my favorite part of the day – the stage shows. All day long there were pirate themed stage shows, and my favorite one, by far, was the A Ring on Fire! fire show. This would be a good time to mention that one of my lead characters in my book – Fura Feuer – starts out in the beginning of the series working at her own local Renaissance Faire as a firedancer. I’ve always thought that that was rather straight forward, but, alas, there still seems to be a smidge of confusion from some people as to what that actually means. Now, I’ll admit, I get excited at these festivals when I catch wind of any stage show that consists of fire. Yet, I’ve been met with much disappointment when the shows get under way and I realize that it’s nothing close to what I’ve had in mind for Fura ever since this story sprung up in my head.  This time, however, I was met with excitement, because this was the first time that I’ve actually seen live exactly what it is that I associate with her. Just to give a visual, I will leave you with the link to the video I took and uploaded to my YouTube channel. Enjoy!