Authors Helping Oklahoma
Along those lines, I know many of you are authors and looking for a way to contribute. I recently learned of a group of authors on Facebook who are putting together a book auction with proceeds going toward tornado relief. The effort is being spearheaded by our own Shelly Arkon, and they are currently still accepting book donations from authors who want to help. (They are also accepting general donations with all monies generated going to the American Red Cross.)
You can check it out here.
Together At Last!
In my own writing news, I've just released the first Moonsongs Anthology. It collects the first three Moonsongs books (Blood Fugue, Witch's Nocturne, & Dark Prelude) in one volume.
BLURB: Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried...
Her life is thrown into chaos when she receives a message from her thought-to-be-dead grandfather, Billy Moonsong. After meeting with him, Jenny learns that her Apache ancestors were feared monster hunters on the plains of West Texas, and that she is next in line to take up the mantle.
Suddenly, she has a purpose and direction in life, but will she live long enough to fully realize it?
The Moonsongs Anthology 1 collects the first three Moonsongs books--a series of New Adult paranormal-horror-action novelettes--in one exciting volume. Follow Jenny and her best friend Marshal on their dangerous quest to unlock the secrets of her past.
Moonsongs Anthology 1 collects the three previously published Moonsongs adventures: Blood Fugue (Book 1), Witch's Nocturne (Book 2), and Dark Prelude (Book 3).
The three stories combined are approximately 154 pages or 47,000 words. Also included in the anthology is exclusive access to Jenny's own secret monster hunting journal. An account--in her own colorful words--of what she has faced so far, and a few tips for the next Moonsong huntress who might come along.
The anthology is available digitally at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $2.99.
If you're curious about the series, the first book, Blood Fugue, has now gone permanently free on Amazon.
Is There Freedom In Writing?
There are many misconceptions about what writers do, and how the writing process takes place. Many folks think writers are dizzy daydreamers, caught up in one fanciful thought after another, and that we simply sit at our computers and crank out story after story.
There's also this myth about the boundless freedom--both in practice and spirit--that all writer's must surely posses. Yes, writers must live in a land of rainbows and no fences, racing up one grass-covered hill just to roll down into another flower-filled meadow below.
Here's the thing: There are points in writing that feel extremely confining. Down right suffocating, in fact. Mentally, it probably has more in common with a darkened, 5x5 ft cell with no doors you'd see in one of those SAW horror movies than an endless, sunlit vista.
You have to commit a staggering amount of time to a single project if you plan on seeing it become fit for public consumption. You'll likely have to forfeit many important and fun things in your personal life to enjoy writing success.
You'll read the same story a thousand times, live in the same character's head for months and months, and have most of your idol thoughts devoured by trying to fill the same damned plot hole you had when you started the project two years prior. (The writing and story are better, but the plot hole remains... always.)
In writing, you have to have the mentality of a parent: You gave birth to that story, and will only be parted from it when it grows up and leaves you, or someone pries it from your cold, dead hands.
So I'd argue there's very little freedom in writing. At least in the sense people think... But there is power in it.
You eventually learn how to tell a story, and tell it in only the way you can. The more you write, the more you'll learn how to use the various tools and tricks to elicit a desired feeling in the reader. And there's power in that control.
Once you know how to share and evoke emotion with words, you'll start to feel like you could tell any story, and take readers to the incredible places you thought only existed in your own head.
But as Uncle Ben once told Peter Parker, with great power comes great responsibility, and that responsibility is choosing how to spend your writing time. Assuming you don't have an infinite amount of it, you'll have to decide which project gets your attention.
So I ask you: Do you feel completely free in your writing? How do you go about choosing your next project? If you're published, do your readers choose them for you? If you're unpublished, do you let your inspiration carry you?