Halfway There <3

We are halfway through February, which I usually consider the longest month of the year. It always has the least days, but it feels like it is especially cold and drags on forever before the arrival of March and spring and happier things. This year, for some reason, it isn’t that bad. Which is ironic, because February has more days than ever this year, with the whole leap year thing.

I’ve done some odd jobs to make money, some more fun that others. I’ve had some fun nights out, like a preview screening for The Assistant, and sensory training for some potential background work. Maybe that last one isn’t exactly a night out, but I learnt a lot and had a lot of fun, so I’m counting it. Social-wise, I also attended a TAWC meeting, which is always an awesome and inspiring time, and watched the Oscars by myself at home. I thought I was a trooper for staying up to watch them even though I had to leave at 5 am to be on set the next morning. Then I got there and saw the name of someone who had actually attended the Oscars (in LA) on the call sheet. He was the real trooper.

You might be wondering about Valentine’s Day, but we actually decided to postpone that, because Arsen is preparing for a tournament and I was on set working. “Can you postpone Valentine’s Day?” Is a question you might be asking yourself. Personally, I think it’s a brilliant idea that allows us a better selection of non-crowded restaurants and discount chocolate if we were so inclined. Just make sure both parties are aware of the date change.

As mentioned, I had a couple of days on set, one as background (in holding, who spent the entire 12+ hours writing) and once as a minors coordinator/bg casting. I minors coordinated on Little Bird, but this was my first time on a big set with a bunch of kids. They weren’t used, so I don’t think I got an accurate representation, but as a whole, it was an incredibly fun day on set with awesome people, and I can’t wait to do it again and again.

You may be wondering how I spent the rest of my time. Well, other than the multiple videos I watched on all things writing (marketing, authorpreneurship, writing romance, self-publishing, keywords, etc.), I wrote. A lot. I am done a rough draft of Cursed and working on the first draft of the final book in the Owens Chronicles trilogy. And typing up the rough draft of Cursed, which will give me my second draft. I am trying to figure out my writing routine/style/habits, and my most prolific writing time was in high school. I would write in all my notebooks, with snippets of conversation mixed with my history notes, continuing in my physics binder, before typing it all up on my computer. I went through all of my old stories to find plot elements and characters I want to elaborate on. I’m currently wondering if I’ll ever have enough time to tell all of the stories I’ve started to write, not to mention all of the new ones that pop up in my head. Self-publishing is definitely the route for me.

 

I may be doing some blog revamping, to focus more on the writing and actually go into more details. Sound off in the comments if you have any questions or anything you would like to hear more about.

 

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

-Maya Angelou

Hikes, Trains and Prophecy

Monday morning my mom and I went for a very early morning hike, then I went home and wrote for a bit before we tried a new Body Pump class with my aunt. I did not like the class, at all, but I must have gotten a good workout because my thighs hated me (and stairs) for days afterwards.

I spent the afternoon cooking and doing a bit of writing before going to hang out with my grandparents. After supper I hung out with one of my new favorite people for an hour or so, definitely overstaying my welcome, but it made my day/week/year/life.

When I got home I watched American Ninja Warrior with my parents. This show is so inspiring and really reminds me that I need to up my game and start training again.

On Tuesday I did background in a spa, where I spent half the day reading a magazine in a lounge chair and the other half writing books on the floor in the hallway. I don’t need much to be entertained, but I do need to see the words I am writing.

That night we watched Otherhood when I got home and I really enjoyed it. It’s the kind of movie you should watch with your mom on mother’s day if you’re lucky enough to have her. After you’ve remembered to call her and bring something to let her know how much you love and appreciate her of course.

On Wednesday the weather did not cooperate with our hike, so I stayed home and wrote before a little family outing. I spent more time with some of my favorite people, then had lunch with mostly the same group, plus or minus a few people.

Wednesday evening my brother and his fiancée had me and my dad over for supper while my mother went out. It is always good times with them, but I also learned a lot about my father that I did not know. I had bits and pieces, and knew things that would imply others, but never put it all together. I basically discovered that he is amazing, and I am beyond lucky to have him as my dad. To have two parents who love me unconditionally and support me in all of my endeavors…I don’t think I always deserve it but I am eternally grateful.

On Thursday my mom, my aunt, my cousin and I hiked Mont-Tremblant. It took us a little over two hours and I tried to keep up with my cousin who is taller and in way better shape than me, but it was hard. The views were incredible and the company was top-notch, but I think I need to do it more often. It’s a beautiful and fun way to get a workout in 🙂

Once the hike was done, we went to Mucho Burrito for supper. I only mention this because you might be thinking, like me, that they have burritos and rice and refried beans and a bunch of heavy, TexMex food. I didn’t explore the entire menu, though I’m sure they have all that, but they also have delicious bowls. I had half-rice, half-quinoa with beans, chicken, fresh corn, pumpkin seeds, fresh peach salsa…it was fresh and yummy and I would definitely recommend.

I took the train back to Toronto, meeting a man from Poland and getting some writing done, even if I accidentally got a rear-facing seat and slightly got carsick. I have yet to take the bus for my back and forths, but the train was a wonderful way to spend nearly six hours writing instead of listening to podcasts and singing along to the radio.

On Friday I got to have breakfast with the boyfriend after being away forever, then got a bunch of writing and admin stuff done before going to set for 2:30. It was at a studio and a really nice set to be on, but a short DAY shoot turned into working past 2 am. It just goes to show that you never know what to expect. I made new friends, caught up with some old ones, got some writing in and even did some knitting. A very productive day, if I do say so myself.

On Saturday I mostly did writing until a fitting. It’s for background on a short film about Female Air Force Pilots and I am so psyched to be a part of it, in any capacity. We went to open mat at 4 points afterward, where the boyfriend helped me go through all of the moves I was worried I had forgotten during my absence.

We spent the evening with Ali and Gözde from the gym, which is always a wonderful time. We tried Monga Fried Chicken, which was very yummy, with mochi ice cream for dessert. I was first introduced to this delicacy back in August and I definitely approve. The black sesame had a pretty strong taste, but it was very good, and you can never go wrong with vanilla. We were going to watch a movie, but got carried away with the talking, which I’m pretty sure is a good thing.

On Sunday I finished a new First Draft of Prophecy, taking into account all of the changes I have been making to the story. I also did some Brand Ambassador work and had supper with the boyfriend’s family, which I love to do.

Another awesome thing that happened this week and I almost forgot is the options for my cover! I received 3 possible covers for Prophecy and am currently going through them to figure out which version, or combination of them I want to use for my book. I know the expression is “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but we’re also aware that it’s how most people decide if they want to read a book, or at least the back of it. Here’s to more books with awesome covers!

 

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”

-Hugh Laurie

First Week as a Published Author

Shards of Glass has been out for a week! I couldn’t be more touched and amazed by all of the wonderful comments and support I have been receiving. I was terrified to put the book out there because only my mom had read it before I decided to go on this publishing journey. Now I have sold way more than the 5 copies I was expecting, and people are actually reading it.

That was the part that scared me the most, because I knew I had family who would get my first book to support me, but I wanted them to like it. I wanted people I didn’t know to get the book and enjoy it, not because I wrote it, but because it’s a good book. I have teared up several times this past week over the beautiful reader responses. Thank you so much to everyone who has reviewed it on amazon and goodreads!

I drove back to Toronto from Montreal and was on set doing background the following days. I also worked on my next book, the first in The Owens Chronicles. It’s a paranormal/fantasy series, and Emily is a few years older than Rachel, but I’m sure you’ll love her too. Research and plotting has been so much fun, but I am excited to be in the actual writing part now, as well as getting cover ideas whenever I need to procrastinate.

 

That pretty much covers my week. What about yours?

 

If you have a copy of Shards of Glass, post a picture of yourself with the book or your tablet. I would love to share them. It’s incredible to think that this book started out as an idea in my head. Now it’s something tangible that you can hold…Crazy!

 

“Follow your dreams. If you have a goal, and you want to achieve it, then work hard and do everything you can to get there, and one day it will come true.”

-Lindsey Vonn

I PUBLISHED A BOOK!!!

I Published a Book!

At long last, after first having the idea back in 2003, Shards of Glass is available in paperback as well as ebook. I am so excited to share it with you!

I would love it if you could get a copy, read it and let me know what you think. If you liked it, leave a review on amazon, goodreads or both 😉 If you didn’t, feel free to leave the review as well, but also reach out to me. This is my first novel and I would love to know what I can work on to be better.

 

Thank you so much for all of your support. It constantly warms my heart and reminds me just how lucky I am. I hope you enjoy the book 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Reading!

Amanda

xoxo

Another 50 000

No, not money. Although that would be lovely. Instead, today marks the end of my second November participating in the National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) 🙂

Winner 2015 - Web Banner

I was going to post throughout the month with updates, but ultimately decided to put the words into my story instead of into talking about the story. Which leads to me having been able to finish another novel in a month. Or, a novella. Still, a major accomplishment for someone who hadn’t been able to finish more than a play within a story before last year. I now have two NANOs and two Camp NANOs under my belt.

My next mission is to edit one of those 4 stories to the point where I feel confident to send it out and possibly get it published. I am definitely my own worst critic, but at the same time, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.

This Writing section of my blog has been pretty neglected, and I was considering removing it entirely, but I want to start posting samples of my writing, either as a continuation of a story from month to month, or just random short stories or poems whenever inspiration strikes. It terrifies me even mentioning that I am thinking of sharing my writing with the world, which tells you why I have so much trouble even beginning the process to get myself published. Still, I have come so far in the past year and a month, and with baby steps, there is still a lot that I can do 😉

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

-Ernest Hemingway