What’s Making Me Happy: August 2017

As I write this, I’m battling a cold (which should be gone by the time this goes live), so I can barely grope for words to summarize my August. Except for “awesome.” Yes. I still dealt with lingering anxiety in my offline life, but as the month comes to a close, I’m utterly delighted with what happened and what I accomplished during that time.

So, yes, it was an awesome August. Say that alliteration ten times fast. ūüėČ

Since today is the last day of August, it’s also time to share some of the joys of the past month. I’m taking a slightly different approach this time, too. Instead of mostly material items, I included two accomplishments (or, rather, “to-do list” items that I completed) and one experience. And feel free to share your August joys in your comments. I always love hearing what’s made you happy, too!

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Six Words of Wisdom on Running a Crowdfunding Campaign (Plus, the “Final” Total for My GoFundMe for the Iceland Writers Retreat)

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Wow. Was it really two months ago when I launched a¬†GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for my trip to the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat? Now, the “promotional” period is over (it ended this past Saturday), and thanks to people’s generosity I raised $2274. This¬†falls short of¬†the $3500 goal – but you know what? That’s still really good. It means that a dream-come-true overseas adventure and investment in my writing career is financially within reach for me. That is enough to say I’m DEFINITELY going now. ūüėÄ

To celebrate, I thought I’d offer insights on running a crowdfunding campaign. Because, well, it was one of the most intimidating things I’ve ever done – more than writing a novel! But it was also one of the most unique and rewarding learning experiences in my life. So, let me share six tips based on what I learned – some practical, and some attitudinal. Because in many ways, your mindset and definition of success might be more important than how close you come to your fundraising goal.
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New #5onFri Article at DIY MFA, Plus Final Reminder for the GoFundMe Campaign

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What’s this? Another DIY MFA¬†article already? ūüėČ

It’s been a while since I last took part in DIY MFA’s¬†weekly #5onFri series; and with Maria V. Snyder’s guest post on Tuesday, I wasn’t able to promote it here until now. So, here’s last Friday’s #5onFri post, where I shared a little more of my “beta-reading preparation” stage by sharing five of the questions I posed to my beta-readers to get specific feedback on aspects of my novel.

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New DIY MFA Article on Man and the Natural World, Plus Other Updates

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(NOTE:¬†Due to this week’s DIY MFA post, the weekly blog post will go live on Thursday, January 26th.)

Nature can play a pivotal role in a story, from thrusting obstacles into the protagonist’s path to¬†dazzling with its majesty beauty. This complicated relationship between the natural world and mankind can lead to incredible stories in real life as well as in literature.¬†So, in today’s edition of¬†Theme: A Story’s Soul¬†at¬†DIY MFA, I explore how this idea is conveyed as a theme in¬†Rae Carson’s¬†Walk On Earth a Stranger¬†and Yann Martel’s¬†Life of Pi. It turns out that wagon train journeys and survival on the high seas have more in common than we might think.

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Chronicling The Craft: On Beta-Readings, New Writing Projects, and the Future of This Series

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On Beta-Readings, New Writing Projects, and the Future of This Series

Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE. These articles alternate between progress reports, fun WIP-related content, and writing / revising / editing tips. Today’s post serves an update on¬†TKC’s beta-reading stage and the beginning of Draft #1 of “The Novella.”

Starting a new phase of the writing process is always exciting. And nerve-racking. And scary. But mostly exciting. However, what makes this “new beginnings” Chronicle unique from past ones is that¬†it covers not just one writing project, but TWO!

Today’s Chronicle is mostly updates on my YA fantasy novel The Keeper’s Curse and my fantasy novella-in-progress, which is tentatively titled The Novella. (Not very imaginative, but I don’t have any title ideas yet. *lol*)¬†I’ll also share my plans for the upcoming round of Chronicles¬†– and if you’re interested, I could use your help with deciding what “fun stuff” to share during the progress reports.

Also, because I saw the movie “Moana” recently, I declare today as Moana GIF Day. ‚̧

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Ready? Let’s start with…
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New DIY MFA Articles, Plus Facebook and GoFundMe Updates

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(NOTE:¬†Due to this week’s DIY MFA post, the weekly blog post will go live on Thursday, December 15th.)

Do you believe in destiny, or a higher power conspiring to help make things happen? Or are you convinced that our lives are what they are because of our choices? Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether fate or free will plays¬†the greater role. This mystery, however, hasn’t prevented writers from exploring it through story.

Today I’m tackling “fate versus free will” for my¬†Theme: A Story’s Soul¬†column at DIY MFA.¬†Using Paulo Coelho’s¬†The Alchemist¬†and Erin Morgenstern’s¬†The Night Circus¬†as examples, we’ll discover the common elements that both books use to examine this enigmatic theme¬†and brainstorm ideas of how¬†we can write our own stories on an age-old debate. (See the link after the jump.) Continue reading

GoFundMe Campaign for Iceland Writers Retreat Begins Today

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I’m sharing some AMAZING news with you today – and asking for your help in making a dream come true, and an incredible learning experience be within reach.

(*takes a deep breath*)

Today I’m starting a GoFundMe¬†campaign to fund¬†a trip to the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat, with the hopes of raising $3,500 USD¬†by February 4, 2017. After the jump, I’ll share links to the retreat and the campaign page so you can see the cost breakdown, perk levels (yes, PERKS!), and so on. But first, let me explain why I want to go and why I need financial assistance to do¬†so.

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