Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Camp NaNo Chronicles 2016: Crossing the Finish Line

Welp, I did it

I can't "officially" win until tomorrow, but it doesn't matter. I hit my goal. It got difficult towards the end, I'm not going to lie. My story wanted to wrap up before I was ready. When it did I was about 800 words short of my goal. I had to go back and see where I could add a few paragraphs until I got to the 50k.

I'm actually very happy about how my story ended. It totally deviated from where I wanted it to end, but it was for the better if I do write a second book (and I hope I do someday). I'm going to take a break, then go back to Suspension of Disbelief revisions. Eventually, I'll go back to this one and try to add another 20k-30k to it. We'll see. I definitely think this is one of the best first drafts I've written. It's still crap, believe me, but I could actually use some of this crap during revisions.

What really go me through this however was sprinting with @NaNoWordSprints on twitter. They have sprint leaders running sprints every couple hours. I once sprinted in four thirty minute chunks of time with only short breaks between them. Those sprints helped me reach beyond my daily word count goals.

I also, took some inspiration from the Camp NaNoWriMo Care Packages that popped up in my inbox every now and then. My favorite being Zoraida Cordova's message titled: Light it on Fire. It was about adding an obstacle  to the story to discover something new about your characters. I took it a little too literally...

 Well since I literally wrote the last half of my novel since my last post, it was hard to find a good teaser section. It's a little very rough right now but here it is.

 Step one of the perfect Cinderella story is a grand entrance. I glanced over the top of the stairs, watching the guest dance away. It was Fiona and Gabriella’s turn, playing the part of the “ugly stepsisters.” The twins made their way through the crowd, pushing past the eager girls waiting in line until they reached Cyrus.
Gabriella push away the current girl on his arms while Fiona grabbed onto his hand to dance. This unorthodox method would get him in a state of confusion and rage. As they danced together, Gabriella pulled her sister away from the prince for her turn. Next the fighting began. I’ve seen them fight together to the death, stopping just before taking the life of the other. I was not prepared for the hilarity of slapping hands at each other. Cyrus tried to get away from the madness, but they grabbed on to him, facing him in my direction.
That was my cue.
I stepped to the top of the staircase. Rosemary made sure I was the only girl at the top. Pushing back the others so I was in his line of sight. Cyrus looked up, our eyes locking from the distance. He was far, but my heart rammed in my chest as if he were right next to me. I took one step down the stairs, his eyes followed me as I slowly made my way down.

 All right, that' s what I got for you. I'll probably do an official recap next week, but for now...

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Camp NaNo Chronicles 2016: Halfway There

This week in Leslie's writing adventures, she will share how determination, sprinting and a little muse helped her reach 25k in the first 10 days of camp.

Well, I've come a long way since last week. With the 10k slump behind me, I face a different challenge as I move forward: staying on track. I know the last chain of events in my novel, now I just have to figure out how to get there. Even though I'm a little less than a week ahead on my word count, I shouldn't get cocky. I can fall behind faster than I rose to the top.

In the end, this is a very sloppy first draft. My inner editor is screaming at me to go back and fix a few plot holes or expand on a  section. But I know if I did that, I would fall into a rabbit hole of editing. With NaNo, it's all about looking forward, not stepping back.

So I look forward to where my story will lead me. What my characters will do, and what they learn on their journey. I look forward to finishing this challenge and hopefully more in the future.

Here is today's teaser:

“How can you trust him, he’s a prince.”
“I don’t,” I muttered. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me Lillian. I know he’s the enemy, but what if he’s not? What if he hasn’t learned about the conspiracy? What if he’s just a pawn like us?”
“No,” Lillian shook her head. “He’s manipulating you. Clearly, he and your father are in on this. Think about it, he’s trying to make you fall in love with him. That’s the only way, he’ll get you back home and take over your kingdom. Snap out of it, Cordelia, you are falling prey to another fairy tale.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Camp NaNo Chronicles 2016: First Week Thoughts

With every NaNoWriMo, I participate in, I always ask myself: What is it about this story that excites me? Every year it surprises me how much or how little I care about my story. Sometimes I get into NaNo with a great idea, but as I keep writing, I feel less and less enthused about the project. Other times, I have so much fun writing and putting my MC in outrageous situations then the next thing I
know I've hit 50,000 words. Granted, I've only won twice. Once in November 2012 and again in July 2014.
As I continue to write this year, I keep asking myself, what made those two years different? Will I burn bright and fast, only to fizzle out after hitting 10k, or will I push through and get to the 50k and have another completed manuscript. Every year, I thought I was in love with a project, only to disappoint myself at the end.
Honestly, if I get in my head too much, it would affect my performance. I have to remind myself why I love to write and why I choose to participate in such a challenge as NaNoWriMo. That's seems like to only way to keep the doubts at bay.
I'm a very busy person, but I have been fortunate enough to find time to write this new story. And I'm happy to report that I have passed the 10k mark. I know for me, it's not much of an accomplishment, because that's where I start fizzing out and losing momentum. But as long as I know where I want the story to go, and I remain excited every time I open the word document, I know I will be fine.
Who knows what's in store for me over the next month. I'm just excited to see where this project takes me.

Teaser Tuesday Time! I present to you, Damsels! (Please remember that this is a very very rough NaNo Draft)

The trapdoor creaked slowly, I jumped into my bed and shut my eyes. This was it, my moment of truth. “Princess Cordelia?” My prince said, gently tapping my. My eyes fluttered open, to see the face of my one true love.
He wasn’t unattractive, I guess, just sweaty. He did kill a dragon after all. His black hair was either sweaty or greasy, I couldn’t tell. His teeth were far too big for his mouth, but other than that, he was okay I guess. He was a prince after all.
“My prince,” I smiled. He leaned in close, this was it, true love’s kiss, well a sweaty, gross true loves kiss, but my happily ever after was sealed.
Before his lip could touch mine, he coughed. Blood sprayed from his mouth onto my face, a hand grabbed his shoulder, pulled him back and impaled him with a sword. My prince dropped to his knees, revealing a tall masked figure in black, pulling their sword from his chest.

“Your tower is a bitch to climb, no wonder he walked up. Thanks for the rope.” 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo 2016- I'm Ready

I've been falling behind with writing lately, with revisions, writer's block and the demands of my job, I haven't had time to work on something new. So I decided to take the plunge and attempt to do Camp NaNoWriMo again. Last year, I wasn't committed to the story enough to finish, but this year I'm prepared. I had this story idea for months and managed to write it all down. I got the rough summary, a game plan and a goal.

I'm still working on other projects right now and I work full time in theatre so this might be a little difficult. But with the right attitude, motivation and inspiration, I know I can do it.

I'll be doing weekly NaNoWriMo Chronicle post like I did back in 2012. Those usually keep me on track. I'll try to post teaser and tweet more in July, my social media presence has been lacking these past few months. Hopefully I'll have a rad cabin, I signed up late so I'm not sure how my responsive my cabin mates will be. We'll see. Either way, I'm so excited to do this again. 

Who else is participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this year? Let me know! :D

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Currently 5/24/16

So after a long hiatus, I am back.  This is a recurring theme, I know. What better way to start off than to hop on the Currently train started by the ever so lovely Katy Upperman. Here is a list of what I'm currently doing.

Zumba, I've been taking classes at a local dance studio lately. I missed almost a month of classes due to my rehearsal schedule, but I went back yesterday and it felt so good to get back into it. My schedule is a little crazy stiill, so I can't go as often as I'd like. Luckily it's one of those classes that I can just hop into and start dancing. I love it.

I've been in a reading slump, not because I don't have anything to read, I have too much actually. Right now I'm trying to get through Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. It's really good, I just need to actually sit down and read alone for a couple hours. I'm trying to stay up to date on TV right now, but luckily all of my shows are ending for the season and I have very few summer shows on my list. I promised myself I wouldn't buy any more books until I finish at least three of the ones I bought this past year.

Currently, I'm finishing up The Flash and Arrow, those season finales air this week. Everything is wrapping up for the summer, almost all of my favorite shows were renewed (RIP Agent Cater and Galavant). But there are a a few new shows that I'm excited to watch in the Fall. Also, I may or may not be obsessed with the English Dub an animated French children's show. Yeah, I am. #iamanadult But I the next season won't be out until early next year. I only have fanfic and comics to hold me over. Blargh.

Listening to
I'm the sound designer for my theatre company's current show. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Italian Guitar music.

Thinking about
I'm still going through revisions, right now my MS is with a beta reader and I'm waiting for her feedback. Even though I'm away from it, I still keep thinking about how I can tweak and make it better. The life of a writer I guess.

The show I'm working on right now opens on Saturday. It's a really funny show, but we haven't had an audience yet. I can't wait to watch other people reacts to the jokes.

I wish I could start and finish a new novel soon. This story has been in my head for months. I'm planning on trying Camp NaNoWriMo again. I didn't finish last year for some reason. This summer is going to be intense at the theatre, but if I have a good outline and the drive, I'm sure I can do it.

Making me happy
Just knowing I'm in a good place right now. I have a job doing what I love, I'm in a good place writing wise and  I don't know, I'm just happy. Don't get me wrong, I'm crazy stressed all the time, but it's like the good stressed.

Friday, September 18, 2015


This is going to be a long post (That I may or may not have had queued up in my drafts for a couple weeks) so bear with me.

Today, I officially signed with a literary agent. I know, I can hardly believe it either. I've been working so hard for that past six years, I wish I could time travel and give 17 year-old Leslie a high five. So, let's start from the beginning.

My journey started back in 2009 when I started querying my first book. God, that book and query was terrible.. I made almost every mistake in the book. I trunked the book my freshman year of college and focused more on school and theatre.

In November 2012 I participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote Suspension of Disbelief. I reached the 50k, but didn't finish the book. In the summer of 2013 I finished the draft and started a long process of rewrites and revisions. I graduated college, moved to a new state and started a big girl job.

I started querying in August 2014. This time, I did more research, had people look at my query and critique it. I even had the guts to enter Sun vs. Snow earlier this year and got on Team Sun. My mentor Jenn Blackwood helped me whip my query into shape.

Flash forward to the beginning of September 2015. I was at dress rehearsal for a show I'm stage managing when I got an email notification. It was about fifteen minutes before we started the run, so I checked it on my phone. An agent asked if I was still interested in representation and if we could set up a phone call. I literally threw my phone and screamed. I responded quickly to set up our call and after a minor freak out, I regained my composure and started the run.

One the day of "the call" I was incredibly nervous. I did all the research, prepared questions and read all of the "Getting the Call" blog post, but I still felt like I was under prepared. The agent was great, she was professional, kind and answered all my questions. At the end of the conversation I was in such a state of shock, I had to ask it this an offer of rep. Seriously, I think at early on in the conversation she said she'd like to work with me and we continued as the conversation as usual, but in the back of my mind I was waiting for those words. She said it was an offer of rep and I was over the moon.

So without further ado, I am pleased to announce that I am now represented by Rachel Marks of Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency!!!

I have a long road ahead of me, but I am excited to see where it takes me.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ready, Set, Write! Week 4

Ready, Set, Write is a summer writing intensive hosted by Jaime MorrowErin L. FunkAllison MillerKaty Upperman and Elodie Nowodazkij Over the next few months, I'll be checking in with
the ladies and other bloggers about my writing each week.

Sorry I missed last week. Life gets crazy you know.

1. How I did on last week’s goals: I didn't set goals, last week. I didn't finish my weekly book either, bad Leslie.

2. My goal(s) for this week:  Camp NaNoWriMo starts on Wednesday. I'm pushing through to finish this book. My goal is to write at least 1,500 words a day. I'm not critiquing for the next two weeks or so, just to clear my head.

3. A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

4. The biggest challenge I faced this week: I honestly don't know were my weeks go anymore. I get into a routine of nothingness for a day or two and the all of a sudden I have plans or leave the house. Then it's Sunday and I feel like I got nothing done all week. It's a terrible cycle.

5. Something I love about my WiP: The novel that I'm going to write next month, is the one I started in April. I like it because it's different from what I normally write. It's about sisters and it's written in a dual POV. Very challenging.

Happy Reading!