A little more from The Great Divide (Changers 2):

“I have faith in the people I know,” Arlon said.

“And distrust for the people you don’t,” Annice finished. “By that logic, I have no reason to trust you.”

Arlon looked at her again, this time startled. “You know me.”

“Not really,” said Annice. “I know Mrs. Montague a bit because she is—was—our neighbor, but you were ahead of me in school and I’m not friends with Marcus or Cee, so… Tell me again why I should trust you?”

“Because I helped you!”

“You knocked me out of a window and made me a fugitive. Some help.”

I need about 40,000 more words to finish The Great Divide, maybe a few less. The goal is to be done by the end of April. So here is my Pacemaker graph for tracking my progress.

The Great Divide (Changers 2) is under way as I type this. (Well, not as I type this because I’m typing this rather than working on Changers 2, but . . . Yeah. Let’s just say I’ve been working on it.) Here’s a taste:

Guin felt as though a net were closing around her. One she couldn’t see or fight. She stood there, opening and closing her fists while her mind reeled. Go back to the Vulpes? No, couldn’t put them in danger again. Go after Marcus and Cee? Maybe…

Warm hands closed around Guin’s own and drew them gently together, startling her out of her racing thoughts. She lifted her head to meet Rand’s dark, compassionate gaze.

“It’s going to be okay,” he said.

“You don’t know that,” Guin said. The words felt too big for her throat, but she managed to squeeze them out. “You can’t promise that.”

InsecureWritersSupportGroup It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Read and support writers by clicking here, and if you’re a writer you can also join!

Writer’s block is what has me insecure this month. I simply can’t seem to make headway with the Changers sequel, and that’s causing a certain amount of anxiety in me. I’ve got a little over 20k words written, and now I’m well and truly stuck. I’ve tried just writing through it, but no. I’ve outlined, so I know where I need to go, I just feel like a wagon with its wheels in the mud. I’ve considered skipping the chapter I’m on and writing the rest, but I can’t work that way—I’m a linear writer. I’ve dabbled with other projects on the side, but I know this book needs to get finished, and that’s probably making things that much worse. *headdesk* Anyone else want to write this book for me?

Question of the Month: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Uh, I’ve pulled out some old stuff now and then and looked at it. I’ve even thought, I should do something with this. And then I never do. I don’t know why. In particular, I would like to rework my Master’s thesis, which was a middle grade historical fantasy. It’s on my list of project, but I don’t know if or when I’ll ever actually be ready to tackle it.

The winter break is over and my kids went back to school today. I’d say things are getting back to normal, but they aren’t, really—just before the holidays, my youngest broke his leg. So he has a full-leg cast and is in a wheelchair, has to be carried up and down the stairs and to and from the bathroom (well, he can use his wheelchair in the downstairs bathroom). I’m definitely getting my weightlifting in.

Still, I’ve managed to make progress with my work over the break, partly because we were more housebound than planned. We couldn’t do all the outings we’d originally thought to do, what with one of us in a wheelchair, and then the rain set in and kept us mostly indoors as well. This allowed me to finish rewrites on Brynnde and send ARCs to my brave volunteers. If you’d like to be an advance reader for my books, be sure to sign up for my newsletter there on the sidebar; I offer ARCs when I have new releases.

Now it’s back to The Great Divide (aka Changers 2). Time to get back into the swing . . . I hope you’ve had a productive start to your year as well!

If you haven’t read Manifesting Destiny yet, well, I won’t tell you again that you should. But . . . you should.

The story is of a teen girl named Cee who discovers she has a dragon inside her. The dragon is named Livian, and he’s snarky and he sometimes convinces Cee to do or say things she wouldn’t otherwise do.

I like to think we all have a dragon. We all have . . . Let’s call it “attitude.” And the struggle in life is knowing how and when to use it.

Cee’s problem is deciding whether to keep her dragon. She’s not sure she can control him or tame him or learn to work with him. He’s kind of scary, and Cee worries he might actually start to control her instead.

That’s adolescence for you. All those scary feelings rise to the surface and sometimes it’s like they’ll overwhelm you if you can’t learn to tamp them down.

But here’s the thing. Cee’s friends want her to get rid of Livian. They frame it as concern for Cee, but it’s probably just as much that they’re uncomfortable with the way Cee is behaving, with this new side of her personality.

And that’s what happens, too, sometimes. People want you to conform. They want you to behave in ways that keep them comfortable, even if it means not being true to yourself. And sometimes they’re right. Like, your dragon shouldn’t eat anyone. That’s fair. But just because he says something you don’t like?

In Manifesting Destiny, Cee comes into her own and begins to bond with Livian. Should she get rid of him just to please everyone else? Should she try to be someone she’s not or learn to be more of who she really is—only better?

My goal with Manifesting Destiny was to create an empowering story about how it’s okay to be you. Sometimes it’s not easy and others won’t understand, but your true friends will accept you and help you, not demand that you change.

You contribute to this world by being who you are, not by trying to be the same as anyone else.

Purchase Manifesting Destiny on Amazon. Also available at other major online retailers, or ask your local bookstore.

Here we are on the brink of yet another new year. Get the hell out, 2016! It’s been a tough year for a lot of reasons, but I prefer to look on the bright side of things. I accomplished a lot as a writer in 2016. I had two books published by two different small publishers, and I attended my first conference as a guest author/panelist (not my first conference ever, but my first as a participant in the overall program). I also got to enjoy the Writer’s Digest Conference. I was a guest on two podcasts as well, and I met a lot of great new author friends and found a new critique group.

But now I want to look ahead to 2017. What are my writing goals now?

  1. Publish Brynnde
  2. Finish and submit Changers: The Great Divide
  3. Finish Hamlette
  4. Write another Sherlock Holmes story

That may not seem like a lot, but I’m not a fast writer. So this is plenty enough to fill my plate for now. If by some miracle I manage to accomplish all this, I’ll re-evaluate what to do next. But for now this is enough to start.

And I’m really excited that I got a Momentum Planner to help me keep track of my goals this year, too! It will help me break things down into steps so I stay on track.

Do you have goals for the coming year? Career, personal, or both? Tell me about them in the comments! And Happy New Year!

Manifesting Destiny got a nice writeup in San Francisco Book Review. They recommended it for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. Read the full review here. I can say in advance the sequel will delve deeper into other characters, so that’s one of this reviewer’s wishes granted!