Sunday, December 30, 2012

I don't do resolutions but...

I haven't written a post in a while and since I've seen several Twitter friends post year-end blogs, I figured, "Why not?" I don't make resolutions but I do have goals for 2013. If I put them on a public forum, such as this blog, perhaps that will give me enough motivation to stick to it and accomplish my goals. ;) Right now, I'm planning to do everything in my power to accomplish these five things. Will you guys help me? :D 

1. Finish my dystopian novel and/or rewrite the sequel to A SCARRED MIND

I'm currently 42k words into my dystopian, tentatively titled 6744, and really, really want to finish it within the first few months of the year. I think it's my best work yet and I hope I do it justice. I'm determined to, actually. I also hope to rewrite the sequel to my thriller. I'd written 80k words of a sequel, but thanks to my awesome CP Mark, I now see the problems with the plot and hope to completely rework it. I'd also like to start another story about past lives, but I haven't fleshed out the idea enough yet to know when I can start it. I'm not that much of a planner. I've always been a pantser but now am thinking things go more smoothly when I at least write a rough synopsis. No outlines for me, thank you. I just can't do them. 

2. Find an agent I love who loves me ;) 
This was also my goal for 2012 but obviously it didn't happen. I wasn't ready. I thought I was but now I can see that I wasn't at all. I had a lot and I mean, A LOT to learn about agents and query letters and this entire writing business. I was so sure that A SCARRED MIND would get me an agent this year. I'm a believer in signs and I thought there were signs all over the place. Maybe there were, but I misinterpreted. I wish now that I had waited and fine tuned the manuscript more before I started querying. I began querying in January and I was nowhere near ready, as evidenced by form rejection after form rejection. I only got it the best I think it can be in November and that was thanks to my awesome CP's, who I didn't even know at the beginning of the year. My goal for 2012 should have been to get it query-ready and not be so gung-ho to query too quickly. Sigh. Well, at least I've learned that lesson, even if it was the hard way. So while I still hope to get an agent in 2013, I'm not so sure it will happen. I always believed A SCARRED MIND would be THE ONE but I don't know anymore. I have gotten a few full requests but all have ended in rejection, except one that is still with one of my (if not THE) top choices. I am still debating if I will continue to query ASM in 2013 or if I will shelve it or possibly *gulp* do another rewrite. I don't know if I have it in me. Maybe it will happen with the new manuscript, 6744, or something else entirely. But I'm not giving up. :D 

3. Get back into 2011 shape
I have really let my exercise and healthy eating fall by the wayside in 2012. I'm not proud of it, but I've been Ms. Excuses this year. I took up running but then it was too hot, then too cold and now I've been sick for the past three weeks. I don't want to keep making excuses in 2013. I want to get back to the shape I was in for the NKOTB Cruise in 2011. I'm envious of myself when I look back at the pictures. I wish that I was able to book the 2013 cruise because apparently I need something like that to motivate me. I tried to act as if I was going, but it didn't work because I know I'm not. I mean, look at me (on the right. BFF Angi on the left) I know some people thought I was too skinny but I was happy and in good shape. Posting a pic of how I look today is almost too demoralizing so I will just use this as my goal to get back there. I need to lose 15-20 pounds and be more toned. I will get there in 2013. Damn it. 

4. Meditate and do yoga more 
In other words, get more in touch with my spiritual side. I feel like I'm almost there but not quite. I had a very dark time a few months ago and I haven't quite gotten back to who I was before, when I almost had discovered my true self. I think I got scared. But truthfully, I feel much better about myself and happier when I am meditating and doing yoga. I just have to keep at it and be the best Amy I can be. :) I know I can do it and if I accomplish these last two goals, my self-confidence (which has always been on the low side) is bound to get stronger in all facets of my life. 

5. Become more financially stable 
I'm not going to get too personal here, but 2012 has not been a good year for me overall. I took a trip I shouldn't have but I will never regret it because it is my best memory of the year. The expenses of that trip have screwed things up for the rest of the year and now I'm no longer okay living on the monthly check I get. Moving into our house didn't help that situation either, but I thank God every day we no longer have to live in the crappy apartment we had. So my hope for 2013 is that I will find a new job, hopefully one I actually like, and get my finances straightened out. It sucks to think once I find a job, I probably won't see my daughter as much or be here when she gets home from school, but I have faith I will find what I need and we'll make things work. And hopefully, I will still have lots of time to write. :) 

I wish I had written one of these blog posts at the end of 2011 because it was thus far the best year of my life. 2012 was...not. ;) But I do have some awesome memories from this year. I'm glad the world didn't end and I have very high hopes for 2013. Not just for writing and getting in shape, but I hope I'm able to go on a couple trips to see my girls and our boys. Those are a big part of what made 2011 so amazing. With the promise of a new album from NKOTB, hopefully we can make that happen. :D I look forward to many music-filled, writing spree, exercising, spiritually fulfilling days. Bring it, 2013!! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Snowy Reading Blog Hop

Excited to take part in the Snowy Reading Blog Hop, in which I will interview the main character of one of my books. I have decided to interview Jake Murphy, the protagonist of A SCARRED MIND, the book I have been querying in hopes of publishing. Here is what it's about: 

Jake has always had a way of knowing things, but you’ll never see him on talk shows or late night commercials. Now that he’s foreseen the vicious murder of a stranger, he has to step out of his comfort zone and actually tell someone. Stung by years of ridicule and crystal ball jokes, he’s hesitant to contact the police. It doesn't help matters that he promised his wife he'd never use his gift again. But he can't ignore that he may be the only one who can save the stranger's life. He convinces two detectives to check it out and hopes that will end his part of the story.
No such luck. As his visions become more frequent and intense, he learns the stranger isn’t the only one in danger. Pretty soon he’s working alongside the detectives in a mad dash to stop the killer from turning the city into his personal hunting ground. If Jake and the detectives can't get a step ahead of the killer, more women could die. Now that Jake is forced to embrace his psychic side, he may end up with scars far worse than a bruised reputation.

Hi Jake! And welcome to the Snowy Reading Blog hop. We're so excited to have you here today. 

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.  Hey. Thanks for having me. I'll admit this makes me a little nervous. I know everyone knows about my gift now but it's still a little weird for me to talk about. Ever since I was a kid, I've always known things and while it's cool to be psychic, it's gotten me into a lot of trouble. Anyway, I'm 36, married to a wonderful woman named Sarah (she doesn't like to talk about my "gift" but I'd rather not get into the reasons why) and I'm a published writer. My memoir will be coming out in about a year, about this recent experience, but you can buy my YA paranormal called Freak. The local Books-A-Million has a nice little local authors display. :) Other than that, I'm a pretty laid back guy. As you can tell, it's still kinda hard to talk about myself. No offense.
  2. Do you enjoy or dislike winter? Tell us why. Sure, I like winter. I love the Christmas decorations in Wilmington (where I live) and also in Wrightsville Beach, a few miles away. They have this light display with dolphins jumping and the annual flotilla, where they decorate the boats in lights and have a show on the Intracoastal Waterway. It's very cool! We don't get snow often -- I can count on one hand how many times it's snowed in the past ten years. But who doesn't love hot chocolate and a fire in the fireplace? Even if you don't need it for heat. ;)  
  3. What would you do on a date (or with close friends) on a snowy evening? See above! Ha ha. If it snowed, Wilmington would probably shut down (slight exaggeration) so I'd make hot chocolate or coffee and a fire and listen to my Sinatra Christmas album even if it wasn't Christmas. Maybe even make smores on the fire. 
  4. When it's cold and dreary outside, what makes you laugh out loud? Will Ferrell movies, especially Elf
  5.  If you were sitting around a fire, playing truth or dare, what would you choose and why? That's a tough one! It would depend on who I was playing with. It's been years since I played games like that but it might be kind of fun. Especially if Alex was there...
  6. Tell us about a winter memory from your childhood? There was the big snow of 1989 in southeastern NC. It was my first white Christmas and everything shut down. The roads were too slick to go anywhere and we weren't prepared for how much it snowed. But it was so much fun. My family bonded more than ever and also went a little stir-crazy since we couldn't get to my grandma's house like we'd always done on Christmas. But the snow was magic. My first snowman too, at thirteen! And yeah, I predicted it would snow on Christmas that year. My mom finally believed I had a gift. 
  7. What is the most creative gift you would put under the tree? Hmm...I guess you would think I'd give a free psychic reading to someone but it's not really my thing. Actually, all of my readings are free. Probably the most creative gift was a poem I wrote for my wife early in our marriage about how much I loved her. It was cheesy, yes, but she cried. 
  8. Would you start a snowball fight? You know, I just might. It'd be interesting to see what Tom would do if attacked with snowballs since he's always so serious. ;) 
  9. Tell us about your favourite winter movie or book? Probably Elf! 
  10. How do you celebrate the holidays? Be it Christmas or Hannaukah or the Winter Solstice. We usually go up to Sarah's parents' house in Raleigh and have a quiet evening at home on Christmas Eve. I think things are going to be very different next Christmas so we'll see how that turns out! Everything in my life has changed now.