A Writer's Journey

May 20, 2019

The Christmas Wish Update

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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I didn’t get a chance to post last week. The week before hand was a little crazy and then I went to Virginia for my sister’s graduation. Our flight home was delayed so I got home almost five hours later than I should’ve, meaning I lost the time I had hoped to use for writing.

But I did get some work done on The Christmas Wish while waiting in the airport, so there’s that!

So, let me update to you on my progress on The Christmas Wish…

I can see the finish line! So much so, that I’ve set myself a deadline of July 1st, one I believe I can meet!

Right now, I’m working on Chapter 13—which was Chapter 10 when I published it as a fanfiction. I’ve divvied up a couple chapters, so that’s why the numbering has changed. But nonetheless, this just leaves the Epilogue!

Can you tell how excited I am about this? I know it’s difficult to tell in the written word, so here’s a gif:

excited

I’m so thrilled to be thisclose to finishing it. There’s still a lot more work to be done but a Christmas release is looking more and more like a reality rather than a dream. It’s an amazing feeling.

If you want to support all the upcoming work I have to do to ready The Christmas Wish for you, you can do so by making a pledge to my Patreon account! Any amount will help to make this book a reality.

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April 1, 2019

It’s My Birthday!

Filed under: journey,The Christmas Wish,writing — mackenziew @ 10:30 pm
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And no, that’s not a joke. I’m really born on April Fool’s Day and would like it if there was an option for websites to realize that so I don’t have to deal with their “pranks” for today.

Enough about that. That’s just a pet peeve of mine.

Anyway, for my birthday, I’m giving you a present—but only if you’re supporting me on Patron. You can get part of a piece that follows the end of The Christmas Wish.

My Patreon can be found here.

Thank you!

Fairy Tales of New York

A few weeks ago, I talked about some of my original ideas—including resurrecting some old NaNoWriMo projects that comprised a series I called “Fairy Tales of New York.”

(That series name will probably change).

Let’s do a refresher for those who forgot or are new around here.

The series started with Fairest of Them All, a modern take on Snow White. Gwen White gets a chance to advance to a management position at the hotel where she works. She is up against Melissa, who is not afraid to resort to any tricks possible to get the position. As all of this happens, she ends up meeting Brandon King, the son of the hotel’s owner, and starts to fall for him.

Gwen also starts to have strange dreams, vivid ones where she is Snow White. When her life starts to mirror the fairy tale, she wonders are they just dreams?

Or are they memories?

I still love this project and want to go forward with it. So I’m slowly starting to go back to it, though my focus is still on The Christmas Wish. I’m nearing completion on my conversion from fanfic to original novel on that project, but more on that later.

So, here’s the deal about Fairest of Them All…I’m pretty sure I lost everything typed up. If you remember, my old laptop—Old Blue—went to electronic heaven and I had to switch to Little Blue, the laptop I got for traveling. And my IT guy at work was unable to save anything from my hard drive. I lost a lot as I wasn’t regularly using OneDrive then.

I am now.

Now, it’s not a total loss. I actually wrote my first draft of it in a notebook. I’d have to go through everything to find that notebook but it should be easily located.

However, I’m not sure I want to pull it out and type that all up. Especially as I’ve come up with different angles for the story. So I’m thinking it’s just best to start from scratch and go from there.

What changes am I making? Well, here’s a few of them…

  • Eliminating the hypnotism angle. In the original, Gwen reluctantly agrees to be hypnotized, which awakens her memories.
  • Also the five main “princesses” wouldn’t be college friends anymore but they would still be friends. They all would now live in the same apartment build, Grimm Towers. Being there is what “awakens” their memories.
  • I had originally intended for one of my princesses to the be the princess who didn’t laugh but it’s best if she’s changed to Cinderella.
  • I’ll probably be changing a few names. I went a bit heavy handed with symbolism last time and I think I want to dial it back a bit.

Plus a lot more that will probably happen while I’m writing.

So that’s my next big project. Wish me luck!

(And happy birthday…but more on that later!)

February 28, 2019

Why I Write Romance

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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So February comes to an end and so does my focus on romance. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it so far! And I hope this one really wraps it all up.

As it says on the tin, this is why I write romances. What draws me to those stories, why they inspire me. This is about the tropes I adore, whether reading or writing them. This is about me.

Here we go.

Romances are so much more than just two people feeling connected and then kissing a lot. A lot of people like to dismiss romances as works without substance and it makes it clear they haven’t read a lot of romances, especially good romances.

(I think we can all agree that there are bad romances, just like every genre has some bad examples. We just might not be able to agree about what those are because it’s all subjective, not objective like we sometimes pretend it is).

Romances, though, are deeper than that. They delve further into that connection, exploring emotions and how the relationship changes people. Good authors flesh out the feelings, the needs, and the desires of their characters—especially the women.

Yes, romances are something of wish-fulfillment as I’ve already discussed. So yes, we are creating the perfect man in some scenarios. At the very least, how we wish relationships would be—how they could be.

I love crafting meet cutes and writing about that initial connection. The first blush of love—butterflies, nerves, joy, excitement—is fun to write as well. Letting the two fall in love is just as intoxicating to write as it is to read.

That’s why I love writing Outlaw Queen. No matter the scenario, it’s always fun to write them falling in love over and over. And it translates well to original works as well, whether I’m attempting to write a novel or just writing a short story. I can’t help but write a romance.

So, I didn’t make the final Monday of February but I did make the last day. I think this is a good way to end the month I dedicated to romance.

Remember, if you want to read my romance writing, please support me at Patreon!

February 22, 2019

My Favorite Literary Couples

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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My month of romance continues as I now discuss some of my favorite couples from books. The ones who made my heart race and whose love drew me to read more and more. Whose romance stayed with me even after I turned the last page. The ones who inspire me now as I write my own romances.

1. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

I think it’s been established by now that I’m an Austenite. And yes, I love these two. I’m a big sucker for the enemies to lovers trope, which Lizzy and Darcy can fall into. But I also love how they challenge each other, make each other realize their own prejudices and help each other work to overcome them. Their love is built on mutual respect and affection, two people who were more compatible than originally thought.

2. Eowyn and Faramir, The Lord of the Rings

Most people love Arwen and Aragorn. Some feel that Aragorn and Eowyn should’ve ended up together, which I understand. In fact, I believe it was supposed to be the original plan until Tolkien fell in love with Eowyn and so created Faramir to be his author avatar.

They are each other’s yin and yang. Faramir went into military life because it was expected of him while Eowyn longed for it. Together, they witnessed how the shadows of Mordor affected their loved ones and themselves. He showed her that there was more than death on a battlefield and that hope existed in the world. She supported him and listened to him, something he had lost with the death of his brother. Their romance was sweet and  I loved it.

3. Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, The Harry Potter series

Remus Lupin is my favorite Potter character. So I wasn’t too sure if I’d like any romance with him. But when Tonks grabbed his robes and declared that she loved him in the hospital wing at the end of the sixth book, I fell in love. It wasn’t the pairing for him but when I thought about it, it worked. He could be (understandably) serious and she brought some levity into his life. He grounded her and helped her mature (along with the war). So I rooted for those crazy kids as they got married and had a baby.

And in my mind, they live on forever with Teddy.

4. Robert Langford and Tess Fairweather, The Glass Ocean

I read this book over the holidays and loved it. It’s about the Lusitania and I encourage everyone to pick it up and read it.

Robert and Tess keep running into each other on the ship and have some great banter. He is pining after another woman for most of the book but to me, it was more that he put her on a pedestal and loved the idea of her, not really her. With Tess, he had a real connection and saw her as a real person, not some goddess. She slowly falls for him, realizing that she likes to spend time with him and talking with him. I spent the book rooting for them and I will tell you I was not disappointed.

Sorry for the delay with this post. I was part of a gift exchange for the Outlaw Queen fandom and one person did not get a gift. I volunteered to make that person something and so I spent the weekend just writing a new story for that person. I didn’t get to focus on much else.

I will still aim to have my last part up on Monday. So come back to hear why I write romances and maybe get a little more about my work in progress, The Christmas Wish.

Remember, you can always get sneak peeks and access to other stories by supporting me on Patreon.

February 12, 2019

My Favorite Movie and TV Couples

Let’s really kickoff my month of romance with some of my favorite couples from both the big and small screens.

1. Outlaw Queen (Regina Mills/Robin Hood), Once Upon a Time

 

the picture

I figured I would get this out of the way because I’m sure by now, some of you are probably tired of hearing about this couple. Robin Hood and the Evil Queen still sounds like a weird combination but in the hands of the Once writers (well, the ones from Season 3) as well as Lana Parrilla and Sean Maguire, it was magic. They were two people who loved and lost and who were both loving parents. Regina was still working on becoming a better person and Robin saw the good in her rather than just the Evil Queen. He believed in her and supported her when she she needed it, giving her romantic love.

2. Lucy Preston/Wyatt Logan, Timeless

lyatt

An intelligent historian meets a jaded soldier and magic happened. Lucy and Wyatt built from coworkers to friends to the hint of something more. By the time they kissed in season 2, I was cheering—and so were other fans. Of course, a wrench got thrown into their relationship in season 2 but it was still clear that they cared about each other. Thankfully, they had a happy ending. (Unlike Outlaw Queen).

3. Belle and the Beast/Prince, Beauty and the Beast

beauty and the beast

Belle is my favorite Disney princess, a bookworm who loves to learn and tries to see the best in everyone. She sacrifices her own freedom to save her father, even if it means living with a beast. In some ways, he’s like Mr. Darcy and she’s like Elizabeth Bennet (with far less sass). Beast starts to change his behavior when Belle stands up to him and finally confronts him on how awful he treats everyone. He starts to care about someone other than him and it makes him more human, which draws her closer to him. Tale as old as time indeed.

4. Newt Scamander/Tina Goldstein, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

newttina

I wasn’t expecting to love them as much as I do. But there was just something about watching the rule-abiding, no-nonsense Tina slowly warm up to the kind-hearted if a big fan of loopholes Newt. They worked well together, balancing each other out—he brought out her more spontaneous side while she grounded him. Things were a bit tense in the second movie but hopefully we’ll see more in the third.

5. Usagi/Sailor Moon and Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen, Sailor Moon

sailor moon

I think the new version of the anime has done a better job at capturing their relationship than the original (or at least the dub). They are star-crossed lovers who are reborn and find each other again. Mamoru grounds Usagi and she gets him to not be so serious. They are also partners when fighting (once they realize they are on the same side and not foes) and support each other through all the weird things that come with fighting other worldly forces.

Those are just some of my favorite couples from movie and TV. Who are yours? Share below!

Next time: My favorite couples from books!


Don’t forget to support me on Patreon!

February 4, 2019

A Month of Romance!

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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It’s February! It’s probably a romance writer’s favorite times, right before Christmas. The entire month may not

be devoted to romance—it does seem to drop off after Valentine’s Day halfway through—but some people like to carry it for all 28 days.

This year, I’m going to be one of those people! Of course, I’m really only going to be carrying it through for 4 Mondays…but you know what I mean.

As you know, I both read and write romance regularly. I know romance tends to get a bad wrap and there’s a lot of discourse out there why. (It mostly revolves around the fact that it’s a genre prominently written and read by women). Some people dismiss it as just wish-fulfillment. And you know what? It is!

Men say they wish they knew how women thought. I mean, we’re not complex creatures who speak a whole new language. Talking to us works. But if they don’t want to, reading romance novels might provide them some enlightenment. Because we write about the men we would like to have relationships with and how we wish relationships would go.

I love getting that thrill of watching two characters fall in love—from books to TV shows to movies. There’s just something about it that pulls me in and makes me excited. So I guess it’s no surprise that I love writing about it too.

I’m going to go more into my favorite romances—to watch, to read and to write—over the next few weeks. I hope you come along for the ride!

And if you want to read the romances I write, please support me on Patreon as I work toward self-publishing my first book.

January 21, 2019

“The Christmas Wish” Update

Filed under: journey,The Christmas Wish,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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So one of my goals for 2019 is to self-publish this book by Christmas. Let’s see how I’m doing.

I am close to finishing Chapter 9. It’s the first part of what had been Chapter Seven when it was a fanfic, where Adelaide and Theo are starting to fall in love and celebrate their marriage with the rest of the town. Once I’m done, I’ll turn the second part into Chapter 10, which will focus on their first date and contains a lot of Theo’s backstory.

From there, we have an incident that sets Adelaide and Theo back before approaching the climax. The end is nearing and I expect this draft to be done within the next couple months, hopefully by spring.

Then what? Well, I’ll let you know as I get closer. However, I imagine it will be getting some feedback on the new draft.

I know there isn’t a lot to this update. I guess I don’t want to share too much even though it’s been around as a fanfic for two years now. Maybe I’ll have more as I get closer to finishing it.

As a reminder, you can get access to sneak peeks of “The Christmas Wish” as well as deleted material by supporting me on Patreon. Please consider doing so.

Have a good week everyone!

December 24, 2018

The Christmas Wish Chapter 4: Christmas Eve

Filed under: journey,The Christmas Wish,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

The sneak peeks of my fanfic-turned-novel, The Christmas Wish, return as Adelaide, Theo and the people of Stony Castle start to celebrate Christmas.


Adelaide held Hugh’s hand as they entered the warm and brightly lit diner, Hugh bouncing by her side. Minnie had decorated more since they had been there that morning, pushing the tables aside to create more room in the middle of the diner so people could stand around. A Christmas tree now stood next to the jukebox and Christmas lights hung around the diner. Fake snow covered the windows and paper candy canes, snowmen, Santas and reindeer were taped up on the walls. Christmas music wafted over the buzz of the conversations and Adelaide paused, taking a deep breath to bask in the holiday spirit filling the place.

People greeted her and her son as she headed toward the back. She recognized most from her job at Town Hall, usually because they were lodging complaints for some reason or another. Tonight, though, she only heard good wishes for her holiday and New Year as everyone put aside business for this one day. Adelaide returned every greeting she got with a warm smile and Hugh waved to everyone like he was the mayor parading down Main Street.

“Adelaide! Hugh! Over here!” Maisie waved from the table she had taken for her family, rocking her baby son Daniel in one arm. She wore a festive red sweater with snowmen embroidered on it and had paired it with a nice black skirt as well as black snow boots. A red headband sat in her brown hair with silk holly and red beads mimicking berries attached to it. Daniel wore a Santa Claus onesie and together with his mother, looked like something out of a Christmas catalogue.

(more…)

December 23, 2018

The Christmas Engagement

Did you know Hallmark Channel has a Fantasy Football type league made up of its Christmas movies? You choose the movies you think will be the most watched that weekend and then you are awarded points based on where they fall once the ratings come in. I’m playing and it’s kinda fun to weigh my favorites with what I think others favor.

And of course, it’s fun to watch the movies. Are they predictable? Cheesy? Pretty much cookie cutter? Yes. But I still love them. And clearly so do many, many other people. Admit it, you do too.

So is there a point to me talking about Hallmark’s movies? Yes, there is!

In the past couple posts, I’ve mentioned participating in the annual Outlaw Queen Advent calendar but couldn’t really explain what I was working on for it due to the rules. Well, my story went up already so now I feel comfortable sharing what it was about with you!

(more…)

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