The Heart Forger

Image result for the heart forgerThe sequel to The Bone Witch, The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco, picks up right where we left Tea, the girl who is one of two Bone Witches in the Eight Kingdoms.  Feared and disliked for her ability to raise the dead, Tea finds herself raising King Vanor in an attempt to find her mentor, Mykaela’s heartsglass which gives her her powers.

Tea finds herself caught up in power struggle after power struggle as she faces down the Faceless (i.e. bad guys) and finds herself allying with the Heart Forger in order to cure a sleeping sickness that has infected royalty across the Kingdoms.  She travels to Daanoris, a place that has banned magic, and is a virtual prisoner as she and her friends attempt to find the Heart Forger and the cure.

Ancient hostilities arise and hidden plots that involve the murder of a king drive the plot as Tea is forced to use dark magic (forbidden to use) in order to defeat the Dark Ones.  Judged and banished, her and her lover, Kalen, strike out on their own with her loyal daeva, Azi (picture a flying dragon).  “Don’t let me become a monster,” she says to Kalen.

“Life isn’t fair.  But you live with it and accept it.  There isn’t much to complain when there is little you can do.”

“When it comes to matters of the heart, nearly anything is possible.”

Great read in the same vein as The Bone Witch.  The part in the middle where Tea is in Daanoris gets a bit tedious as we have new characters and a new plot to develop, but overall worth your time!

Finally–A Writing Related Post

I’m feeling immensely unsatisfied right now; down on everything–BSF, my family, my Bunko group, unanswered questions and uncertainties in terms of moving, my husband’s job, and schooling.

So, I started writing again.

I began re-reading for the umpteenth time the draft of my latest YA novel and am working on that.  I think it’s my best work yet but I always think that.  I’m sure others will think it utter crap.

Bored at editing (many of you know I HATE editing), I began to surf the internet.  Curious as to what genre my novel falls into, I began researching science fiction, fantasy, and the like.  I decided to see what Twilight is classified as since it’s just about everything and has a lot of my same elements.  It’s considered all over the board:  YA, romance, fantasy, etc.

Then I visited Stephenie Meyer’s website and found this nugget:  “With writing, the way you feel changes everything.”

She is speaking in regards to Midnight Sun being leaked on the internet.

But I couldn’t agree more.  I write when I feel like it.  I don’t write when I don’t feel like it.  It definitely takes a certain mindset you have to be in.  It’s not like a job with your hands or repetitive.  It involves emotion–and for me, a lot of it since I throw myself into it tooth and nail.  When I’m down, my characters are down. When I’m up, so are they.

I’m resolved to get this project wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.  I’m dying to begin the query process and see if this thing is any good or not or if it will be relegated to just another file on my computer as I move on to my next project.  But, I’m taking my time this time, making this as good as I can and then see where it takes me.  I’m itching to get started on my next project but I know this one is not finished.  I don’t like to multi-task; I have to bring my characters to fruition and then move on to something else.

Pleasantly Surprised….

As I reluctantly began my second edit of my YA novel, I have to admit, I had to quell my excitement.  As I’m reading it, I’m thinking, “This is pretty good.”  As I’m making changes, I’m thinking, “Now, it’s even better.  Maybe this has a shot after all.”

As most writers know, getting a book published is no easy task.  It’s not just write a book and it’s instant fame and fortune.  Nope.  It’s a marketing and sales job, one that perhaps ranks up there with running for public office.  You have to sell your idea and your book and you have less than 2 minutes to do so.  First impressions count even when it’s just on paper.

So, I find myself pleasantly enthralled and engaged in my story even though I know most of it by heart and the changes I make and additions just seem natural.

Writing can be fun and exciting.  Especially if it’s yours.

Editing…Again

The only thing I truly enjoy about editing my novel is the indication that I’m almost done.  Everything else just plain ‘ol sucks.

I’ve finished the first edit with about 3 or so more to go of my paranormal YA.  I’ve never written this material before and I’m hoping it doesn’t completely suck.  I’m praying this is it.  I’m praying I get published soon.  I’m praying something has to give and this is it.

So, as I procrastinate beginning my second edit, I thought I’d give everyone an update and ask for some prayer requests as I know this is where the real work begins.

Still Resisting…

I am still resisting with every ounce of my being my re-write of my YA novel.  Yet, I’m pushing through it.  I fixed the first chapter (the major issues I found) and have yet to re-read the entire thing and fix the little things.  This is the part I am not looking forward to.  It’s the getting pulled back into my story when I had already put the characters to bed for the night that is the hard part.

I had intended to do that this morning but my son is awake and sitting on my lap and I really have to desire to cry over my story with him here.  Plus, I have to plan homeschool for next week, clean my house, and we have early soccer games so I will postpone this until early tomorrow morning.  I like to work early in the mornings when all is quiet and (supposedly) all is sleeping.  It’s easier for me to work in big chunks of time than lots of tiny ones.

I hope to finish this up soon because it is weighing me down.

Writing is a lonely craft and I’d agree with that.  I’ve been advised to join a writing group and have my work critiqued, which I know is the smart thing to do.  Yet, with all my other responsibilities, I just don’t have the time.  Trust-worthy baby sitters are hard to come by and those are usually reserved for doctors appointments and such.  Plus, I’m HORRIBLE with criticism.  I’d rather stab myself than hear my work critiqued.  I know it’s necessary but when your characters are such a part of yourself, it’s like someone is stabbing me anyways.

Yet part of this is about me.  It’s about seeing how perfect I can create something and then having an editor pare it down.  If I had the spare cash, I’d hire someone to edit it for me.  So, for right now, I’m going solo and trusting in God to guide my hands and write what He believes is important.

Time to Pray

I so think my story is done (my YA novel that is).  I don’t want to go back to it.  Yet, I just got more suggestions from an agent who said I was 90% there and said it was too “heavy-handed” with the characters and I needed to eliminate some things.

To be perfectly honest, I really don’t want to.  I have re-written this story so much by now that it’s amazingly pathetic.

My only consideration is, “Is this the story God wants me to do?”  If so, then I need to obviously take her advice and work on it…again.  But, part of me is ready to move on to my next story.  Part of me feels this is just such a waste of my time when there are so many other things I could be doing.  How long does one follow a pipe dream?  How badly do I want to be published?  How badly do I want this?

Yet, if I didn’t feel this story wasn’t worth telling, I’d have moved on long ago.  Yet something about this one–the potential power it holds–keeps me working on it.  At what point do I say, “Enough already?”  I am so torn up over this project that I’m having trouble describing how I feel right now.  I’m very sad and beaten down by it all–the process, the story, the memories, and the hope (fruitless?).

I know there is something here, but do I have the fortitude to keep digging until it is crystal clear to readers?  Part of me wishes someone would just tell me my writing sucks and stop dangling out hope that maybe one day I’ll get it right.  It is so much easier to just give up rather than fight through the pain I feel every time I work on the novel one more time.

All I know is it’s time to pray…some more.  I don’t have the answers.  My characters can’t tell me what to do.  It’s all in my mind and I have to determine how best to reconcile it all.

What do I truly want with this story?  Is it finished?  Is there something more…something missing?

I don’t know anymore–what I want or how badly.  I really don’t know anything right now.  I’m so emotionally drained from this whole process and adverse to re-visiting the world I created that I’m unsure if I can make it any better or if I can emerge from it all.  I don’t know where my heart lies or anything…

Packing and Moving

So between P90X and my two stairwells, I’m sore and beat from packing and hauling.  I packed all of our books, pictures, and the kids rooms.  I sorted through clothes to give to Goodwill and I cleaned the house on top of all of this.  Now, if we only knew where we were moving to, it would be better.  All we know right now is we are moving.

My husband has yet to talk to our landlords about when they want us out.  My husband has yet to decide about what kind of job or business he wants to do.  I just wish God would provide some kind of job where I want to move, whatever that may be.

I also got 3 more rejects on my YA novel in my inbox this morning.  I’m beginning to think maybe I’m not meant to be writing.  Maybe I just don’t have a good story to tell.  I don’t know.  I wrote my last novel in about 6 weeks but now I think I may take a break.  I might continue querying but I really don’t have the heart for it anymore.  I think I’m going to read some backlog of novels I have sitting on my nightstand and put my computer keyboard to a much needed rest.  Being a published author would be a dream come true but my heart has withered over this excruciatingly difficult process.  As my third project I have tried to find an agent for, it gets old after a while.

So, as I look forward to this next week, I have school to do, more packing, and many prayers for my husband to decide about our lives.  I only have so much say when he’s the one who has to actually do the work.

Hopefully some answers will come soon.