Quiet August

I now interrupt my regularly scheduled radio silence to announce…more radio silence!

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No but really. I know it sounds like a bad joke, but I am, in fact, coming back to this blog after weeks (read: months) of nothing, simply to forecast…more nothing.

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This being said…I have good reason for said heaps of absentia. Mostly.

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The past months of silence were due in part to travel, but mainly to my gluing butt to chair/fingers to keyboard/eyes to manuscript’s word doc and NOTHING BUT THAT WORD DOC SO HELP ME–oh, not a court of law? My bad.

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Point is, I took some time, put the blinders up on everything in my life that I could,  aiming to cut distractions and GET. BOOK. DONE.

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And it has worked, ish! The lack of distractions has helped, but….See, well, here’s the thing…

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I’m not done yet.

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Now, the good news is: I have made progress, I am making progress, and I may at last be in the final stretch of finishing this book!

YES

The bad news….

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It’s going to be a very quiet August in the cave.

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…and possibly September and October too.

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Now, I do have some pretty major life updates to share, and I promise I will get to those soon….

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….just not today.

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So if you see me on social media/gif vomiting any more/existing out in public lol, over the next few weeks…

I see you

I probably shouldn’t be there, so feel free to yell/nudge/shove me back to my cave.

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And with a little luck, lots of long hours, and all the wrist destruction later, I will have another update for you soon.

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Until then, good luck in your own writing caves/endeavors everyone…

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And I’ll see you on the other side (of the cave or the war, depending on your Hamiltonian fluency levels), til we meet again!

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Critique Partners

A collective post from some of my wonderful CPs and me full of rambles and words of critique partnering advice!

Akshaya Raman

Hello!

Last week I was at RT with a bunch of my closest writer friends and we had an absolute blast! Because we’re all so spread out geographically, we only get to hang out once or twice a year so we really try and make those few days count. And because a bunch of us were together, I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer some questions I get frequently about my critique partners—and have them chime in with some thoughts as well!! They were all so generous with their time despite a packed schedule at RT, and I’m so grateful that they were all willing to share their thoughts!

Fair warning: this is a LONG post. But hopefully it’s a fun read/cool to see the insides of our very weird brains. Or I should say, coherent versions of our brains. In person we make a lot of very lame jokes…

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The Dog Ate My Internet

…Or something along those lines.

Soooooo… I thought the two month mark of my dropping off the face of the blogging world would be a great time to pop in and say hi (errr… definitely nothing to do with the struggles I’m having on this current chapter or anything). This is actually just a quick hi though, not a full length post (oooops) but I figured a short stop in/explanation for my radio silence might be nice!

Alright, explanation time: Remember that time, exactly two months ago, as in the last time I posted (hides face in shame) when I mentioned I was rewriting my book? Well… yeah… see the good news about that is – I have been doing that, with a good amount of success! As in, I have drafted nearly half of this new version of book 1, as in, from scratch, drafted it, and now have a sprawling new manuscript in the works to contend with. YAYYYY THINGS ARE HAPPENING AGAIN! I love drafting!! Woohoo!!

Now, the ah, less good news, which is probably fairly obvious: I’ve had to essentially hit pause on most other things in my life (including but not limited to this blog, social media, leaving my house, seeing people other than my cat/parents, responding to texts within the same month I get them, working out -lolz we can just pretend I did that before – wearing real people clothes, being a human… you get the picture).

But, for all those whom it may concern who have missed my being partially human/out in the world (really, I’m not sure who that is, but I guess my cat wouldn’t mind if I left the house more/left her in peace once in a while – which should give you an idea of my true level of cave creatureness at the moment…) well, the second piece of slightly good/extremely terrifying news: I have a deadline to finish drafting this rewrite! And that deadline is – drumroll please – December 31.

December 31, 2015. As in 3.5 weeks from now. As in I should not even be writing this blog right now. As in sorry not sorry in advance for typos because calculating the weeks I have left just freaked me out enough that I’m definitely not going back to reread/edit this post. Oops.

SO. In sum: Sorry for dropping off, but not entirely because I did get half a book written!!! Annnnnd since that half apparently took me two months and I only have 3.5 weeks to write this second half…. BYE ALL I’LL SEE YOU IN JANUARY!!!

🙂 Happy Holidays y’all. Hope they bring lots of joy, love, and meaningful time with family and friends for everyone. See you on the otherside (of this bottomless cup of coffee and never ending writer cave).

❤ Madeleine

New England Colors and Boston Teen Author Festival

Hello from the beautiful woods of New England in the fall!
Hello from the beautiful woods of New England in the fall!

Life: This will be a quick update, as I am writing this blog in the midst of my last evening in Boston. The night promises to be full of Pirates (At World’s End), a last supper of cheese and guac with my wonderful critique partners, Akshaya and Janella, and (mostly) trying to make my huge suitcase of books be under 50 lbs :D. Oops. A longer update will come next week, but for now, a few pictures and quick highlights!!

Cheese and Disney princess cups, because what else would we be having?
Cheese and Disney princess glasses, because what else would we have?

Reading: Finished one AMAZING book last week – Snow Like Ashes, by Sara Raasch. Such an intensely captivating, original YA fantasy, centered on a girl and the group of fellow refugees she lives with, as they try to work towards reclaiming Winter, one of the four “season” kingdoms of the world.

SO GOOD
SO GOOD

Also read it just in time, because at Boston Teen Author Festival this weekend (which was SO MUCH FUN!!) I acquired an early copy of Ice Like Fire (book 2 in the trilogy) and I cannot wait to dive into it tomorrow on the plan (if I’m not crashing, in which case, as soon as I’m home). Either way, i will report on it soon here :-).

The critique partners and I, tromping around Boston on our way back from authory events and things!
Janella, Akshaya and I, tromping around Boston on our way back from authory events

Writing: So while my writing week was a bit speckled with travel and events and critique partner time, we actually all managed to carve out a fair amount of writing time – particularly on our mini-retreat these past two days int the woodsy areas of New England!

Writing in idyllic New England <3
Writing in pure bliss

Did a good deal of overall plot work, world-building and brainstorming for the new version of my WIP. This rewrite is completely daunting and still needs so much work, but it was great to get a solid start on it. Sorry to delay my thoughts on world-building, but I guarantee I will still be doing it for at least the next few days, so I will share some of my strategies next week.

Hard at work in the woods
Hard at work in the woods(ish)

Be well everyone, and enjoy these first few weeks of fall!!! Any fall plans, apple picking, haunted houses, etc, for anyone??

❤ Maddy

And one last shot of this glorious place!!
One last shot of this glorious place!!! Happy almost October!

In the Land of the Wild Things

Hello all! Quick update for you this week, as I have a book and a spot of scotch tea to get back to! And who said a cabin in the woods couldn’t be fun?

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Definitely not me in my wild free time at the cabin.

Life: Well, just in case you don’t follow me on other social media/haven’t read my last two posts… I’m in a cabin in the woods. Kinda. Mountains. Mountains with woods. Houselike cabin. Close enough! Suffice it to say – the mountain/forest/cabin air is clearing my head so much. And wow is that wonderful. I’ll write more on it next week, but I’ll leave you with a few pictures for now (sorry to anyone who’s already seen these). In summary – life is absolutely wonderful!

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Gorgeous hike today!
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…♫ then goes tromping around wearing boots like Gaston a ready hiker…

Books: Just the one, but it was so satisfying, I’m still digesting it with a purring smile. As I mentioned last week,  Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman came out September 1, so I brought it with me to the cabin…. and I was not disappointed.

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I didn’t think I liked westerns, but wow did Erin prove me wrong. The story hooked me so quickly, the world was so gritty, the characters so raw and real and captivating, I read it in a day. I put this on my goodreads review, but seriously –  books that make me fall in love with their setting so much I need to visit it tomorrow are some of my favorites. I finished Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and instantly wanted to visit Sweden, and I was hardly halfway through Vengeance Road before I developed this burning desire to go to Arizona and trek across the desert. Thanks for the awesome read, Erin – I highly recommend it!

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I was doubly excited to explore a mesa today with my writing buddy Amanda, because VR features a mesa and similar terrain 😀
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And then I might have gotten a little over excited by cacti…. def not having a desert craving right now or anything…

Writing: Oh man. Getting back in the grove is hard, but so worth it. I’ve rewritten this chapter one probably 20 times by now, but these two rewrites I’ve done in the past week… Guys, they feel SO CLOSE to where I want them to be! It is such an exciting feeling to finally feel a book you’ve put so much heart into coming together… and seriously, this book has my heart three times over. I’ll talk more about what has helped me get to this place of the book finally feeling right next week (hint – involves getting to know my main characters at an even deeper level than I ever have) but now the book, and my wonderful bladesmith and his complex, crazy family are calling me. Be well all!

❤ Maddy

And one last picture of this gorgeous mesa/state, because I'm still drooling. Can I do it again tomorrow??
And one last picture of this gorgeous mesa/state, because I’m still drooling. Can I do it again tomorrow??