A Writer's Journey

June 12, 2017

Summer is Coming

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Get it?

And I’m not even a fan of Game of Thrones.

I’m going to go put myself in the corner when I’m done with this post. Don’t worry.

We’ve already had a heatwave here in New York. Three days in mid-May peaked over 90 degrees—all in a row. It was like a preview for the summer.

However, the weather since has been mixed. Sometimes it’s been really nice, sometimes…not so much. It’s been chilly and rainy. Very rainy. Hopefully this isn’t an indicator of how the summer is going to go.

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June 5, 2017

Go West

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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And then run back East, if you’re me.

We have established I’m a diehard East Coast girl, right?

But, yes, I made a trip to the West Coast at the end of April. I mentioned it in an earlier post—I went to Anaheim for a work conference. It was a great conference and I learned a lot.

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April 24, 2017

April Showers

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She laid on her couch, wrapped up in a soft blanket as she watched the rain hit the bay window in her living room. The pitter-patter of the drops against the glass was the soundtrack for her afternoon and she sighed, content.

The door opened and closed, sending a cool breeze through the house. She raised her head as she heard someone kick off their shoes, muttering under their breath. “I feel like a drowned rat,” her husband called out.

“All you need is some dry clothes,” she replied, not bothering to look up. She remained focused on the window.

He walked into the room and kissed her forehead. It sent a shiver through her body as his icy skin brushed against hers. “You need something warm,” she said.

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March 8, 2017

Celebrating Women Authors

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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I am a woman.

I’m sure you’ve probably figured that out by now and that I’ve probably flat out said before. But I thought I’d state it again.

Today is International Women’s Day. Some women may have walked out of work today, protesting pay inequity between the genders in the workplace. Some may not. Still, today is our day.

So I thought I would celebrate by highlighting three of my favorite female authors.

Jane Austen: I absolutely love her writing. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book and I’ve loved the other books I’ve read (especially Mansfield Park). Many mistake her works for light romance but they are more than that. They are social commentaries disguised as light fare. Really read one. You’ll see.

Ann Rinaldi: She is my favorite author. Ever. I used to run into the library or the book store to find the next book of hers to read. Through her, I learned that historical fiction was a genre and it was one I enjoyed reading. I learned so much from her, including how to write historical fiction. I will forever be indebted to her.

Sara Donati: I think it’s been a while since I’ve talked about her. Mostly because I’ve been delaying reading “Endless Forest” because I don’t want the adventures of the Bonners to end. She brought the New York wilderness, 19th century New Orleans and Scotland to life with her vivid descriptions and  decorated the landscapes with colorful and intriguing characters. She is heavily influenced by Diana Gabaldon and poor Hannah Bonner gets put through the Jamie Fraser wringer, but if you want a straight historical romance without fantasy elements, check her out.

These are just 3 of my favorite women authors. Who are some of yours?

February 14, 2017

Be Mine Valentine

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Red and pink dominated the office, with hearts dangling from the ceiling and flowers on nearly every desk. It seemed Dolores went all out this year and Grace sighed as she set her bag down.

“Happy Valentine’s Day!” Dolores chirped, coming up behind her. The office manager was dressed all in red and had pinned white bows with red hearts in her brown curls. Her glasses were perched on her nose as her blue eyes took in Grace. “Any plans?”

Grace shook her head. “Quiet dinner at home, some wine and the least romantic movies I can find.”

“Come on. Where’s your Valentine’s spirit?”

“There’s no such thing,” Grace replied, sitting down. “There’s a Christmas spirit, but no Valentine’s spirit.”

Dolores huffed. “With that attitude, you’ll never have a Valentine.”

“Maybe I’m not looking.”

With the way Dolores reacted, one would’ve thought she had just confessed to murdering puppies. She clutched her chest and her blue eyes went wide as her mouth fell open. “Don’t you want love?”

“I do,” Grace said. “Just not for some stupid commercial holiday.”

“It’s not a stupid commercial holiday.”

She gave the older a woman a look. “Please. Spare me.”

“How is this a stupid commercial holiday and Christmas isn’t?” Dolores challenged.

Grace sighed. “Can we not do this? Can you just accept that some of us aren’t as gung-ho for this holiday as you and leave us be? Please?”

“Or what?”

“Or I’ll report you to management,” one of her colleagues, Dan, said. He peeked over the wall separating their cubicles, eyes focused on Dolores. “This has to be borderline harassment.”

Dolores pulled back, sniffling. “No one appreciates this holiday.”

Before either Grace or Dan could say something, she stalked away. Leaning back in relief, Grace looked up at her savior. “Thanks for that.”

“You’re welcome,” he said. “There are a few of us grumps but you seem to be the only woman who isn’t hiding her disdain for today. I think that’s why Dolores focused on you.”

She sighed. “Great.”

“Don’t worry. I think I scared her off.”

“Good. Maybe I can get some work done,” Grace said, finally logging into her computer.

He wished her luck before sliding out of sight, returning to his own work. She smiled, diving into her tasks for the day.

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February 7, 2017

Return to the Big Project

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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So, I’ve been quiet about this for a while. And there’s a reason—I had to backburner it for a couple…months.

First, I realized I couldn’t focus on it and NaNoWriMo at the same time. I tried but it didn’t work. Not with me having a full time job as well. So I had to make a decision and put the Big Project on hold.

Then came December. “The Christmas Wish” wasn’t completed yet, so I focused on that. With a lot happening before Christmas, I had to keep the Big Project on the backburner so I could get the story finished—as well as my OUAT Secret Santa gift.

Which now brings us to January. I rang in the New Year with a glass of Reisling and then two hours later, I couldn’t breathe out of my nose. As the night wore on, I felt worse and worse and it was clear I had a cold. It was a lot of sleeping as we returned from my sister’s in Virginia and I spent the next day resting as well. After going to work on Tuesday, I was knocked out and called out sick on Wednesday because I was just feeling awful. I spent the rest of the week trying to get better.

And then my grandmother died.

So I realized January just wasn’t good. I decided to start again February 1st…and then got felled by a stomach bug. (My immune system clearly needs a boost). So that went out the window as well.

Now I’m hoping to restart this week. Wish me luck!

February 1, 2017

Am I Turning into Planner?

Filed under: journey,The Fairest of Them All,The Wedding Game,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Probably not, but…

I do have a character development sheet saved on my computer. And a plot chart sheet. Have I used them?

Not yet.

Do I plan on using them?

I do.

What for?

I’m not sure.

There are a few projects I might apply it to. Most of them are past projects I want to tackle again for some rewrites. And one is another fanfiction turned original story (not the Big Project. I don’t think this would help that).

Let’s break them down:

Fairest of Them All: It’s been a while since I’ve talked about this, huh? For those who may not remember, here’s a rundown: I wrote it for my first NaNoWriMo. It’s a modern day fairy tale where my main character, Gwen, finds her life mirroring Snow White’s. Is it coincidence…or is she the reincarnation of the fairy tale princess?

I’ve been meaning to go back and re-edit this. Okay, more like rewrite. So I want to be sure I’m clear as I dive back in. Clear on the characters, clear on the plot progression…I’m still serious about this story.

The Wedding Game: Yes, I still have hope in this project as well. Though I believe earlier I mentioned that this was probably getting a full rewrite, so I’m definitely going to need the planning guides as I embark on this.

Whenever that is.

The Nanny: This is the fanfic project I was talking about. It’s one I’ve mentioned before in a few posts, especially after I received several reviews attacking my decision to include a rape scene. However, it’s more beloved and many have asked if I plan on publishing it. I will probably have to publish it in parts as it’s long. And unfinished. I feel the plot plan will help me break it up logically.

So maybe I’m turning into something of a planner.

Only time will tell.

January 9, 2017

Hello, 2017!

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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So we’re a week into the New Year. As usual, I’m going to list my anticipations for the year. For any newcomers, I don’t like the term “resolution.” So I say “anticipations” instead.

Ready? Here I go…

Continue to post regularly here on WordPress.

Post a flash fiction a day on my tumblr.

Work on the Big Project and self publish it by the end of the year.

Work on the Christmas Project and self publish it by Christmas.

Get back on a regular fanfiction posting schedule.

Network with more writers, both in fandom and out of it.

Continue to try to read a book a month.

Write more book reviews for my blog.

I think that’s it for now.

Bring it on, 2017.

I’m ready.

January 3, 2017

2016 in Review

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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It’s been a year, hasn’t it?

I won’t lie—I won’t be too sad to see this one go. There’s been some struggles personally—nothing too much, but still, it was a bit trying.

How else has it been for me? Well, let’s review the anticipations I made almost a year ago:

On the fanfiction front, I anticipate finishing “The Land Without Magic” and “The Prince of Darkness.” I anticipate starting their sequels—“Once Upon a Time” and “Untitled as of Now.” And I’ll continue working on “The Nanny,” “Comfort Food” and “Building a Family.” And probably many more.

I did this! In fact, “Untitled as of Now” is called “The Dark Legacy.” I also started a new story called “Crown My Heart,” which is also very popular. There was also the hotel verse and I just finished a well liked Christmas fic as well.

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December 12, 2016

Book Analysis: “Lost Among the Living” by Simone St. James

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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This was my first book in my new book club. I managed to read it in a month. As I said, the gifts were a great encouragement but the story was really good as well. So I was glued to it and wanted to read more and more.

Now, I’m going to do a book analysis on it!

Once again, this is an analysis, not a review. I will be looking at St. James’ writing style and her choices. So there will be SPOILERS!

You have been warned.

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