The Hardest Part of Writing
by Lexi Ander
I was talking to my husband about the topics I picked from my blogs posts and when I mentioned this one, Jason immediately turned the conversations toward my ADD. He thought the post should be about the rigors of completing a series when focusing can be a challenge. Honestly, I think he wanted everybody to know that he was the one who did the little things so that I could write. He does make great meals (when he doesn’t experiment).
Jason isn’t wrong. Writing when I’m prone to be distracted can be a chore. You should see me clean house. I dust two shelves and get sidetracked by something that needs to be put away… that reminds me I wanted to store my summer clothes… to I need to wash the curtains… to I need to clean the windows… and finally back to dusting the shelves next to said window. I’m not even sure how to punctuate that sentence. But you get the idea, right? Focusing can be an issue but that doesn’t mean I can’t.
This is why handwriting my first draft works so well for me—which was part of the topic I had planned for this blog post until the husband put his two cents in. I had thought about explaining how I reread the series in order to remind myself of the feel of the characters. Then I’d talk about my world building book to go over ideas and details from the series. ← That had been my idea, but once I considered Jason’s thoughts on the subject, I realized the two meshed and were relevant to each other.
Finding those Zen moments where I focus for long periods of time can be hard. There are a lot of things that easily distract me. I get hungry. My playlist is boring. The dogs have to go out. Now they want extra treats so queue the whining. I’m too hot, too cold, twitter beeped, the email binged… the list is endless. I’ve had to test things out to find out what works for me and what doesn’t. Handwriting the first draft away from the computer worked wonders. Everything fell away and nothing else existed except the story, the pencil, and the paper. What else worked was building a notebook that holds all the information for the series. All the picture inspiration, the descriptions, the random thoughts about where I wanted this detail to plot point resolutions is handwritten onto the pages. I have friends who give me the crazy eye over those two but I have four words for them. Blue Screen Of Death. If my computer crashes along with all my OCD backup sites, my book is still accessible to me.
Once I know how I get to that Zen place, then everything else usually falls into order. While there, I’d say the only time I’m distracted is when a story idea pops into my head while I’m writing. Usually it is an idea for a side story to the series I’m working on, so all I need to do is write the detail in the series notebook. When the new idea isn’t attached to my WIP then I have a journal that I put the idea in for later. Sometimes that’s really hard, because seriously, it’s a shiny that I would love to chase but I know better. ^_^ If I can claim anything at all it is the fact I can’t leave a WIP unfinished. I do follow through, it’s just that sometimes it take me a little longer to get to the end.
Thank you for stopping by and reading! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway before you leave. 🙂
About Songs of the Earth
Thrust into the role of Prince of the Lycans, Tristan strives to find his footing in a life suddenly rife with secrets and lies—and danger. Betrayed by a Goddess meant to safeguard him, desperate to protect his consort and their growing tribe, he can only prepare for the worst and struggle to hope.
And then the worst comes to kill them…
An Excerpt from Songs of the Earth
I sat on my horse, Dancing Socks, in the middle of the river that cut through my property, the chill of the water numbing my legs. We were stuck, trapped between two creatures of myth and a Goddess of the Lycan race. Behind me, six of my warriors in the fearsome Lupe battle form braced to protect me.
I was in deep, deep shit. For the life of me, I couldn’t see a way out. Two Shirdals―lion-eagles also known as gryphons―one in front of me and one behind, effectively cut off any escape. Socks and I couldn’t outrun these Sumerian creatures of myth. But they were the least of my problems. What held my full attention was the woman standing before me on the water’s edge.
The Goddess Ki, clothed in a long, flowing gauzy dress, wearing a crown of ram’s horns, with a bow and quiver of arrows over her left shoulder and a cudgel hanging from her waist. She held a lion cub’s leash while regarding me with a stern, assessing gaze.
“Tristan Javed Ksathra Janick, Prince of the Enkidu, do you know who I am?”
How could I, or any Lycan, not know her? Regardless of what had happened today, I’d believed there was a solution. There was always a way out as long as I continued to breathe—but this, her, I couldn’t fight and win.
“You are the Goddess Ki, consort of Enki, Lady Life, mother of all living things, Nourisher of Kings. I greet you, Goddess. Do with me as you will.”
From across the water, Ki smiled a very white smile. “Come to me, Tristan. We have much to discuss,” she commanded.
I nudged Socks with my knees and she reluctantly finished crossing the stream, nervously tossing her head and rolling her eyes at the Shirdal. Once out of the water, I guided her a safe distance to the side and dismounted, removing her wet saddle and blanket. Her muscles twitched as she held still for me.
For a moment, I leaned my forehead on Socks’s shoulder. She reached around and nibbled at my hair. Not a half hour ago, I had left the ranch to go for a ride. The morning had offered many revelations with an accumulation of events that changed the course of my life.
After breaking the bond with my Twin Flame, Theo Sullivan, I hadn’t expected to find happiness or to fall in love with my best friend, but I had. Last night we made love, and it had been the best night of my life. This morning I’d awakened to find out I was born of royal blood, and Ushna was my chosen consort. Before I could begin to grasp what that even meant, Caspian MacCuill—one of the Magi—and a group of Lycan warriors invaded my home and attempted to kidnap Ushna and blackmail our friend, Gregori Borchetta, which led to Ushna being shot while trying to protect me.
All I had wanted was an hour. One single, measly hour to gather my thoughts and figure out what the hell we needed to do next. Instead, I sat trapped with no way to escape. The only course of action left to me was to save as many lives as possible. No mortal defied a Goddess and lived. If only I knew what I’d done to draw her attention.
Reluctantly, I straightened, petting Socks’s velvety nose before I removed her bridle. Giving her a smack on the rump, I sent her away. With luck, she’d return home safely and not be eaten.
Ready for whatever fate awaited me at the hands of a Goddess who hadn’t walked the Earth in a very, very long time, I turned to Ki and waited. It couldn’t be taken as good fortune that she was here now.
“Why so gloomy, Tristan? Do you think so poorly of me that you expect to be struck down by my hand?” Ki asked, head tilted to the side as she stared with almond-shaped black eyes.
One Shirdal lay at her feet, allowing Ki to scratch the feathers between its ears. The picture presented seemed surreal, two things that shouldn’t exist in this modern world of skyscrapers, automobiles, space shuttles, and nuclear bombs. Yes, I kept an altar in my room where I left burnt offerings to the Warrior Goddess Anat and Shamash, God of Justice. Believing in the Gods and Goddesses didn’t mean one would manifest into my world and actually speak to me.
“I don’t wish to offend, Goddess. It’s… well… this has been a very unusual day. Right now, I’m assuming the worst because I cannot fathom why you are here—speaking to me.”
She gave me another toothy smile and glanced across the water to the Lupes harassing the other Shirdal. “Please call your warriors to you, Tristan. The Shirdals meant you no harm. They were only playing.”
I barely withheld an ugly snort. Playing with me? I could imagine them playing as they tossed me about with their sharp beaks. Without a word, I lifted a hand to the Lupes and they entered the water, intent upon me as they crossed in a straight line.
About Lexi Ander
Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.
As part of this blog tour, Lexi is giving away multiple prizes!! First prize is a $20 Amazon Gift card, $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Songs of the Earth, swag (pens, bookmarks, coffee cup). Second Prize is a $20 All Romance Gift card, hard copy of Songs of the Earth, swag (pens, bookmarks, coffee cup). Third Prize is a hard copy of Songs of the Earth, swag (pens, bookmarks, coffee cup). Fourth & fifth prize is an e-book copy of Songs of the Earth! To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.
Don’t forget to check out Nikyta’s review of Songs of the Earth to see what she thought of it!