Happy New Year (on day 10…)

Hi Aledan Merfolk *sheepishly waves* It’s been a while, yeah?

YAllFest Friends!

I have to admit, that compared to the first half of the year (baby niece, NYC, book contract, my mom’s new kidney), the second half of the year was not quite as exciting, with the huge exceptions of Nebo Retreat and YAllFest (any time a bunch of authors get together it’s exciting and memorable!). I met a bunch of new friends at YAllFest, and hung out with a bunch of old friends I only see once a year, so that weekend was a blast. The weekend before YAllFest, Hubs met his author idol, so November was a huge literary awesomeness month for us.

Most of October and November I spent working the late shift at the lab, so I listened to lots of books, but didn’t have the brain power for much else. I listened to and/or read AGE OF MYTH by Michael J Sullivan (CHOCK FULL OF AWESOME WOMEN), NOW I RISE by Kiersten White (oh Radu, I just want to give him a hug), COMMUNICATION FAILURE by Joe Zieja (which I’ve now listened to three times because it’s hilarious), THE BOOK OF SWORDS Anthology, PARADOX BOUND by Peter Clines (I love Clines, and I will literally listen to anything Ray Porter narrates), THE LAST WISH by Andrzej Sapkowski (it’s the first Witcher book – Hubs is obsessed with the game and now the book series so I tried it), DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone (this was the most intense book I’ve ever read, and written in such a strange, stand-offish way that I have no idea how she pulled the intensity off. It’s amazing), ARTEMIS by Andy Weir (even better than The Martian), A PLAGUE OF GIANTS by Kevin Hearne (I was worried I wouldn’t like this one, because it’s so different from The Iron Druid Chronicles, but I think it was my second favorite fantasy of the year, behind The Stone Sky), and STRANGE THE DREAMER by Liana Taylor (which left me with a lot of conflicting emotions that I haven’t untangled yet).

Now I’m re-listening to the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown and reading EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES by Rhoda Belleza (who I met at YAllFest and had nails to match her book!)

Whew. Told you I did nothing but read this fall! Well, read and play WoW. I got my fellow author and pony fanatic, Courtney Moulton, into my guild and we’ve been playing almost every night. I even started doing raids *gasp* My hunter’s a badass now (her name is Kindra, duh), and I finally learned how to play feral druid! My baby druid, Karigan, is blowing through Northrend *sniffles* They grow so fast *wipes away tear*

As for 2018, it started with a snowstorm that shut down Charleston for FOUR DAYS. So instead of a week off between Christmas and New Years, I ended up with a second week off as well…and a horrible cold from playing in the snow without proper winter boots (they don’t even sell proper winter boots here). My cold is finally abating, and I plan to be around the blog a lot more this year, especially since I’ll be posting interviews with my fellow 2018 debut authors! I also plan to get a newsletter started, to keep you all updated on Speak the Ocean’s journey to publication! This is going to be an exciting year of edit letters and cover reveals and book birthdays ^_^

Until then, I’m working on Regina, my revenge-murder sci-fi that’s so much fun!

Have a wonderful week, Aledans! I’ll see you all soon <3

Contest: THUG, Wintersong, and YAllFest Swag!

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! I’ve finally gotten over the cold-that-turned-into-the-flu, and realized that THUG comes out in less than a week! I pre-ordered it last summer, but then I received a signed arc at YAllFest (and it is just as good as everyone says it is!). So now I have a pre-order that I don’t need. I also have an arc of Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones and a bunch of YAllFest swag (including two more arcs: The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins and The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr), which means it’s contest time!

 Enter to win THUG

Enter to win WINTERSONG

Enter to win YAllFest Swag

You can chose one, two, or all three contests to enter.

Three separate winners will be chosen.

U.S. only

Contest ends at midnight 2/28.

(The blog keeps flagging comments as spam – I’m checking regularly, so if it happens to you please give it a couple hours to appear)

Screw You November; Thank you December

Happy Friday, Aledan Merfolk! It’s been over a month since I updated you on my life, and there’s a good reason for that. Everything went to absolute shit in November. My entire life was turned upside down (not just because of the election, but that’s certainly part of it) and it’s only just starting to right itself again.

After my read-a-thon in October, I was finally feeling really creative and started working on Fie Eoin (again. Yes, I know, hush), and then the election happened. I stayed up until almost four am, mostly crying, but also railing against the universe for being so utterly stupid. When I went to work Weds morning I was scared and sleep-deprived and depressed, and I had no idea it could get even worse.

My husband called me at lunch. His company had “re-organized” because of the election results and his position had disappeared. Not twelve hours after the election was called, my husband lost his job.

And thus started the shittiest month of my life. Aside from Thanksgiving weekend, I haven’t slept in four weeks. I caught a bad cold the next week because I was so stressed out (and drunk most nights) that I tanked my immune system. I’ve had horrible canker sores for most of that time (stress and/or processed sugar does this to me – did you know your epiglottis and tonsils can both get canker sores? That’s fun). Paying bills left me in tears because I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay next month.

But so many of Hub’s coworkers have been working overtime trying to find him a new position in the company, and this week it paid off: Hubs has a new position in the company!

After a month hanging out by my ears, my shoulders are sore now that they’ve gone back to their normal position as my shoulders. And sleep! Holy Aleda, I think I could sleep for two weeks straight and still not be caught up. Yesterday I slept through the chickens screaming to be let out of the coop. I was so tired I pulled their cries into a dream that I was letting them out, and when Hubs got up to let them out I told him I already did it (I hadn’t – they’d been screaming for half an hour).

Other than Thanksgiving, which was low-key and as relaxing as it possibly could be, there was one really bright spot in my November: YAllFest. As always, the huge YA Lit book festival was amazing, and heart-filling, and so needed this year. I went with one bookish goal in mind: get a copy of THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas. And not only did I accomplish my goal of getting an arc, but I also met Angie and got my arc signed! And you guys, this book was so devastatingly good. So absolutely needed that I’ll be running a giveaway for the one I pre-ordered closer to the pub date. I also plan to run a giveaway for some of the other arcs and swag that I picked up that weekend, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Angie is such a sweetheart! Go pre-order her book!

I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing, life-affirming weekend and holiday season, Aledans. If you need a shoulder to cry on, I’m here <3

#NaNoWriMo Day 19: Burn It All

Happy Thursday, Aledan Merfolk! As you can see from the title of the post, NaNo’s going about as well as expected for week three. I have about 12k words, which for me is 7k behind (I’m so far behind on actual NaNo wordcount I haven’t even bothered to keep track), but I did make it to the first plot point, and once that scene is thrown out and re-written it’ll be really good.

In fact, I’m throwing out every single thing I’ve written so far except for this sticky:


Which is kind of funny, because I haven’t even reached that scene yet.

I’ve been stuck for a couple days on what happens after my first plot point, so I’m going back to that scene and taking it in a different direction to see if doing something completely different will work.

I still have no idea what will happen on the way to the midpoint, except for that sticky.

Other than NaNo, YAllFest was a blast. It was so big this year that it took me an hour to find anyone I knew, but once I did we had a great time going to panels and eating (and eating, and drinking, and eating some more). I didn’t see everyone I had hoped to, but like I said: there were thousands of people there this year (I’ve heard the unofficial number was 12 thousand). It was nearly impossible to find anyone.

This week the dayjob is busy gearing up for Thanksgiving. It’s really strange that our busy season coincides with retail’s busy season, but perhaps that’s why the lab is *right* next to the mall? At least we’re close enough that I can walk to Target if I need to 🙂

Speaking of busy, I haven’t transcribed anything I’ve written since last Tuesday, so it’s time to get on that. Have a wonderful weekend, Aledans!


#NaNoWriMo Day 13: Real Life Gets in the Way

I painted Erie! It looks nothing like her :P
I painted Erie! It looks nothing like her 😛

Happy Friday the 13th, Aledan Merfolk! I’ve had an exciting, busy week, and it’s about to get even more exciting and busy, because YAllFest starts today! I plan to spend the weekend in downtown Charleston, hanging out with author friends and hopefully running into even more author friends! And eating, of course, because you don’t spend a weekend in downtown Charleston without eating at a bunch of amazing restaurants. Rue de John, Closed for Business, Basil, Prohibition…I could go on and on. If you’re going to be in town let me know and we’ll get together for a drink!

NaNo was a bit side-tracked this week. I’ve been writing every day, but it’s been closer to 500 words instead of 1000 (I’m not even trying for 1667 this year – there’s no way it’ll happen). We spent last weekend making all our reservations for our Christmas trip home to see family, then went to a concert on Monday, then bought a car yesterday! Which means all our trip plans have changed because we weren’t expecting to have the car until January 😛 So now we’re trying to rearrange our plans, and it’s making my head spin. I probably won’t get any writing done tomorrow, so here’s hoping I won’t be too YAllFest hungover on Sunday to write.

Maybe next week will be a bit calmer. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)

I did have a little revelation about one of the MCs in Enfields last night, so I’m thinking she should be easier to write now. And I’m almost to the really exciting first plot point, where everything suddenly changes for everyone involved. And then…I have no idea what happens until the midpoint. Probably a sex scene. Ok, most definitely a sex scene. And I need to kill an enfield, but not during the sex scene. That would be weird and creepy.

Still can’t wait to edit this giant pile of steaming shit, but I have to have a rough draft to edit first 😉

Have an awesome weekend, Aledans! And I’ll see you at YAllFest!