I’ve never been great at newsletters. I ran a blog for a long time that had a very modest following, and I enjoyed the outlet, but I’m not sure it served more function than just screaming my professional hopes and dreams into the void. I was able to share things I learned about writing while doing the work and while getting my degree. I offered up some very unpolished, quick-turn fiction. People got to see a lot about my dog.

It was messy. I’m messy.

If you’re not going to be the main character in your own life, what’s even the point? And to build a solid character sheet, you need to know two things:

  1. What do they want?
  2. What do they fear?

Trying to evaluate these things within myself has been a journey, and I’m willing to give it a shot now.

I want to publish a book I can be proud of. “Success” to me used to mean becoming a household name in the fantasy community. I had a very standard definition of success in mind when it came to my writing, and I’m not entirely sure I hold to that definition now. I want to succeed by finishing what I start and my offering something to the fantasy community that might speak to someone.

The evolution of my fears has taken a similar path. Obscurity and inadequacy served as a roadblock for me my entire life, but they don’t hold the weight they used to.

My fear is a lack of open-endedness—a funneling of the road to a pinpoint ending. Approaching middle-age, I crave possibility. The concept of having options is often the default when you’re younger, and the older you get, the more you’re pushed into a slot where you’ll fit—even if it’s not the best fit. Square peg, round hole. That’s my fear.

I guess, now it’s time to do something about it.


I have three projects currently in the works, at different stages of development, and each one is a unique challenge for me. Trying to keep the pen moving has been difficult recently. I’m not a full-time writer, so my day job can get in the way pretty badly, and it makes my brain tired.

The first project is a full re-outlining of an old novel that wasn’t working for me anymore. Holding onto the core idea, that little spark that lured me into that world, has really kept me from bringing the story to its full potential. There’s a certain sentimentality that comes with that initial kernel of an idea—the seed that you somehow need to nurture until it sprouts into a tree. (Terrible metaphor. I’m the worst gardener.)

The re-outlining is going to massively restructure the story and possibly force that initial story seed into a completely different shape. In the long run, it will be what’s best for the story, but the task of it holds so much weight. The biggest exercise in letting go.

Project #2 is part of a challenge put forth by my Discord community—to finish the first draft of a novel in 90 days. This probably doesn’t need to be said, but I’m sorely behind. It’s been fun, though! Rallying the community together to create something, to push each other over the finish line, is something I’ve missed doing over the last several years. The story is almost secondary in this project, but creating it is still meaningful to me.

There isn’t much to tell you about Project #2, except that it’s fueling me to write something fun and heavy at the same time—fantasy that delves into humanity less than setting this time around. If you blended Atlantis: The Lost Empire with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, you might be in the ballpark of what I’ve temporarily dubbed Spire.

And, finally, Project #3—a very loose idea centered around Death, inevitability, and the struggles of being a fixed point in a world of endless fluctuation. I’m pulling it together, still, but it needs a little brewing time. I expect to start this story sometime around September, once I have a firm skeleton to pull from.


My husband, Jared, and I have opened up our small shop on Etsy, so there’s a lot going on in terms of getting that organized. We’ve been working on filling our stock and prototyping new products in our downtime. (Lol. Downtime.) It’s been a lot of work, but an equal amount of fun, creating this brand and our product catalog with him. After working together across a few different industries in the last decade, this project has really been a labor of love, and an incredible learning experience, for both of us.

I’m also making another leather bag to serve as an EDC—something that fits my iPad and my writing supplies, as well as all the other nonsense an overprepared girl has to carry around. The backpack I made in September for the Carolina Ren Fest has been amazing, but it isn’t great for carrying everywhere. It’s still a great faire bag, though.

My hands are bruised from punching hundreds of holes in 6-ounce leather. So, so bruised.


Books

I’ve been trying to read a few classics a year for the last couple of years. There are several I missed out on when I was young, and I’m trying to round out my reading list. The rest is just for funsies.

  • The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
  • Animal Farm, George Orwell
  • Fragile Threads of Power, V.E. Schwab

Television

This is a bit of a mixed bag, with mixed reviews to go with them.

  • Halo; I love the attempt, but… yikes. It could have been amazing.
  • Shōgun; Spectacularly done so far. I look forward to every episode.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith; This was so much more fun than I expected it to be, but it still managed to hit me in the feels.

Music I think my Daylist title yesterday morning says it all.


Well, kids. I appreciate you so much if you read this far—even if you just read the first sentence and you’ll never see this bit, I appreciate you. A thousand words of rambling isn’t for everyone, but it helps me clear my head of the cobwebs and sets the creativity gremlins back on task.

Stay shiny,

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