Jennifer Lyon
Friday, May 15th, 2015
Jen Rambling About the Joy and Nostalgia of Writing

Once, I thought the more books I wrote, the easier this writing gig would get. Bwhahaha!! Nope, not for me. I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last year as I really struggled to write my last two books (CAGED MAGIC and EXPOSING THE HEIRESS), and that has me something seasoned authors told me long before I was published:

Enjoy the process now because once I published, all the pressure, deadlines and drama would suck out the joy.

Hmm, after writing twenty-some books, am I losing my joy in the process?

Sure, I look back on my early days of “writing the free and untamed book of my heart” with nostalgia. I miss just going for it without that pesky voice of experience in my head censoring each word, questioning every character motivation, scoffing at an unrealistic plot line or nagging me about passive writing. Trust me folks, those voices crowd into my head, bottlenecking my writing process and frustrating the bejeepers out of me. On top of that there are always deadlines ramping up the pressure to produce, which of course, sends my brain into the blue screen of death.

Oh yeah, it seems like the early, pre-published days were glorious – until I wipe away the nostalgia of writing with more hope and joy than any real skill, and I realize the truth.

I was clueless as shit.

No seriously. I didn’t know what sold. I didn’t understand the appeal of a trope (a tried and true plot line like redemption or falling for best friend’s little sister). I didn’t know how to emotionally hook a reader into my character’s goals to create page-turning tension, or how to use hooks and action to ramp up pacing and keep the reader from putting the book down.

I’m still learning every single day. I love that part of the job, I’m always pushing myself to write a better, more powerful and cleaner story.

But I hate the fear that has come with the knowledge. The more I learn, the better I get, the more critical and frustrated I become with my own writing. I realized this even more as I just did a revision on CAGED MAGIC, plus copy edits and proofreading on EXPOSING THE HEIRESS. I’m never satisfied and I suspect I never will be.

That’s called growing as a writer. Sure, in my beginning days as a writer, the newbie passion burned brighter and sitting down to the computer was more of a joyful experience. But that’s a memory that’s been cleaned and sanitized by time, often conveniently forgetting all the numerous people who didn’t take my career goals seriously and a few who made fun of me. And later, too many dream-crushing rejections to even count. Nostalgia has a way of softening the old pain and letting us recall the good times over the bad.

These days, getting paid to do a job I love is priceless. A deep and satisfying joy because I had to work my butt off for it with long hours, painful mistakes and pure determination to do it over and over until I got it right. Or at least close to right as I could, because as I said before, I’m never completely satisfied.

In my early days, I had a dream and every time I put my fingers to the keyboard, I was pursuing that dream with joy. That’s a good thing.

But now? I’m living the dream. It’s harder, takes more blood sweat and tears, but the joyful dream has matured into a sense of accomplishment, and a drive to keep doing it. And the pay off? Every time a reader falls in love with one of my books or characters, I experience profound sense of happiness that is significantly more satisfying that the simple joy I felt in those early days.

My joy still lives and burns, it’s just tempered by time, experience and the drive to do my best not to let down my readers who got me here.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
Wednesday Worthy

Today’s candidate for Wednesday Worthy is actually a couple. But feel free to use your imagination and cut her out of the picture :-)

Young beautiful loving couple is embracing on a black background

So what do you think? Is he worthy?

Monday, May 11th, 2015
Weekend Roundup

So how was everyone’s Mother’s Day? We had a blast here. Kids + Dogs + Margaritas + Hot Tub = FUN!

Cookie and Corky were tired! (Corky is on the left, Cookie on the right)

cookie and corky are tired

We missed Bailey! He had to stay home since he doesn’t always play well with other dogs. But Bailey is coming to stay with us for a week in June, so that’ll be fun.

The weekend had a mild hiccup. On Friday, just a couple hours after I sent the manuscript of CAGED MAGIC to the editor, my other editor sent copy edits for EXPOSING THE HEIRESS and needed them done by Monday.  That’s what I get for planning a weekend off :-) But the good news is, Wizard and the kids all pitched in and everything worked out fine. I got the copy edits done and had fun too.

So how was your weekend?

Friday, May 8th, 2015
Happy Friday and Mother’s Day!

Sending out a special wish to all the Moms!

Cute little Teddy bear giving a bouquet made of hearts

Cute little Teddy bear giving a bouquet made of hearts

Today I’m finishing up CAGED MAGIC to send off to the editor. I’ve been clocking 12 to 16 hour days (I wish I was exaggerating!).  I can’t wait to get a break — but not this weekend. Saturday I’m making enchiladas to talk out to my mother-in-law for dinner. I haven’t seen her in a while, so that’ll be nice. I volunteered this because I thought the kids were busy (and I always understand that). But it turns out they are coming over Sunday so I need to figure out something to have for them too. We’ll barbecue hamburgers or something easy so it’ll work out and we’ll have fun.

So what are your plans?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
Wednesday Worthy!

I’m so sorry I didn’t respond to comments on Monday. In two words, Monday Sucked. In more words, Monday Sucked Big Fat Donkey Dongs. But Tuesday was soooo much better and I expect today will be fine too.

Back to Monday, the painters didn’t show up (car trouble) after I’d gotten up before 5 am to shower and get some work done before they arrived. It pretty much went downhill from there with various things, including three and a half hours in the dentist office working on a bridge for the tooth I had extracted. Not Fun.  For anyone wondering, after long, endless, boring discussions with my doctors, we ruled out an implant due to my medical history. Everyone was on the same page with this decision EXCEPT my oral surgeon who assured me I was making a terrible mistake.

Whatever, now I’m committed to my terrible mistake :-) On the upside, I now have a lovely new temporary bridge and can smile without being self conscious. (Wizard swore no one could see the missing molar, but it bugged me.) I’ll get the permanent one in two weeks, and that visit will be much faster and easier.

And the painters made made it out yesterday — the kitchen is all finished! So happy about that. And I do want to that despite this one glitch, the guys we’ve had here have been great. Seriously.

Even better? I doing my final edit on CAGED MAGIC and should have it in on Friday, barring zombie attack, fire or food poisoning type events.  Fingers crossed :-) And while I’m talking about CAGED MAGIC, my assistant, Anna, just put it up on Goodreads for anyone who wants to add it to their reading list. Click here to find it.

All that said, I’m truly sorry I didn’t respond to comments on Monday. You guys are a priority to me, and I don’t like the feeling that I’ve ignored you. I’ll do better!

So…maybe this picture of our Wednesday Worthy Candidate will make it up to you:

Strong Athletic Man Fitness Model Torso showing six pack abs. isolated on black background

Strong Athletic Man Fitness Model Torso showing six pack abs. isolated on black background

What do you think? Is he worthy?

 

Monday, May 4th, 2015
Weekend Roundup

Weekend was good, there’s just never enough time. But I finally got to hang out with my friend and start shopping for a dress for the RITA Awards (Her Temporary Hero was nominated for a RITA). We had a blast, were gone for hours, and came home.

Wizard, looked us both over and said, “Seriously you bought nothing?”

“Well she bought lip gloss,” I said.

He rolled his eyes. “You were gone for HOURS. I still think you should wear the red dress you already have.”

He just doesn’t get it. LOL. I found two dresses that I really liked. One I ruled out after I realized I had glitter-sparkles all over me from trying that dress on. That will get annoying so I eliminated that dress. I’m seriously considering the other one while looking at more online now that I have a better idea of my size.

So today the guys are coming back to paint and by the end of the day, the kitchen should be fully restored after the water leak. I’ll be hiding and working in my “corner office” which literally is just a chair in a corner of a bedroom :-). I’m in the last hundred pages of revising, then I’ll do one clean up pass and send it back to the editor.

Now it’s your turn! How was your weekend?

 

Friday, May 1st, 2015
Happy Friday!

It’s May! Unbelievable! The last month or two racked up somes serious craziness. But it’s a new month so I’m going to be positive. My kitchen is nearly finished after three non stop days of restoration work, so yay! It took Wizard and I about two hours to clean everything and put away all the stuff in the cubpards, but it’s all pretty much back to normal.  Monday they will paint and touch up, then hopefully, be completely finished.

CAGED MAGIC…well I’m working my backside off in between everything else. I love it so much, love that Linc is fierce and hard, yet his heart is soft when it comes to those he cares about. He comes from a hellish background but doesn’t let it destroy him. I love that.  And Risa, she’s just wants to keep a vow to her murdered friend and save baby Kendall (Risa’s godchild). But things are stacking up against her very quickly. I just hope I’m telling their story the way it deserves to be told.

And then one day, I can sleep again :-)

But for all you asking about a release date for CAGED MAGIC, the plan is July 20th. We pushed it back due to craziness crashing into my life and, frankly, the book needed more time.

As for this weekend, I’m working, then Sunday going out with my friend for shopping and lunch. We had to cancel last time due to the leak in the my kitchen, so I’m really looking foward to it.

So what are your weekend plans?

JenniferLyon.com