Editing

I was hoping to have all of my editing done by today (maybe tomorrow) but it looks like I’ve hit a snag in the program I use. I have been using Google Docs for several years now. I used to just write on Microsoft word, but after saving an umpteen amount of copies, and them never being the “updated” one, I wanted a change. Seriously, it was a nightmare. A program I definitely do not recommend for writing a novel on. It’s fine for papers and such, but with the amount and changes I did on a daily basis, it is not ideal.

Aaaaanywho, so I have been using Google Docs as I said, and last night it did a very weird thing. I have been letting my editor make comments and suggestions on the document itself because I think it’s way easier (she agrees). But last night, as I was approving her comments, it would pop up with this “Access Denied” and make me reload the page. This was after one 1 minute of editing anything. I would reload like it suggested, and it was still doing the same thing. The pop-up said, “If this is an error, please contact the original user of the document to gain access to edit.

…………………….

It is MY document. I have been working on it since like 2010!

Luckily, I was able to back it up still before it tried to boot me out again. (within 1 minute) I have never had this much trouble with the site before and it made me really nervous that it was hacked. O.O

The point of my story is, I will have my editing done very soon, which means I will have my paperback copies in production soon after!! Woohoo! I know most of you are not thrilled it’s only in eBook form right now, but DON’T WORRY! You will have the chance to get your physical hands on it! I am thinking of doing a giveaway as well. Just need to look up on how to even do that. ^.^ Bye! ##

 

Psst… If you haven’t already, make sure to pre-order Fliers on Amazon!

 

Willow’s Interview

Interview Questions for Willow (before the story begins)

Can you tell me your full name please?

Wow, jus’ jumpin’ right into it, huh? My names Willow McCarthy.

How old are you?

I’m probably older than you, darlin’.

What race are you?

I’m white, and I have some Irish in me.

Gender?

I am woman. Hear me roar!

What is your favorite animal? And why?

Oh, uh, chimps I suppose. I think it’s cool how similar they are to us. Some even smarter than us! *laughs*

What’s your favorite color? And why?

Blue’s pretty. Cause it looks good on stuff.

What’s your favorite season, and why?

Winter. You may not believe it but, I get hot pretty quickly and winter is great ‘cause I can run around doin’ stuff all day long in the snow and not even break a sweat. I’d move to Alaska if I could.

What did you want to be when you grew up and why?

I wanted to be a veterinarian. You might think I’m crazy ‘cause I hunt and have all these deer heads on my wall, but if knew how ta help sick or homeless pets, I would in a heartbeat.

What would you dress up for halloween?

Halloween? Nothing. Don’t care for the holiday. Plus, I’m too old.

Do you have a favorite movie? Why?

I don’t have a TV. So, I couldn’t tell ya.

Favorite kind of music? Why?

I enjoy listening to jazz. It’s soothin’. Listenin’, drinkin’ wine and readin’ a book. Oh yeah..

Where did you grow up and did you like it?

In Georgia. But it got way too humid there in the Summers. It’s humid here too, but not nearly as bad. Trus’ me.

What was your first job?

Joined the Army as soon as I turned 18. Did that for about 30 years. Livin’ in retirement now but still helpin’ Sparrows. But I don’t call that a job..

How do you feel about kids?

…Uh. I have always wanted kids, actually. A whole bunch. But, I can’t. An’ once my husband died, I didn’t see a point in adoptin’. He woulda’ made a good daddy…

Marriage?

Been married. It was wonderful…

What is your proudest accomplishment? Why were you proud?

Gettin’ promoted to Master Sergeant. If you knew what that was, you’d be proud too.

Anything you’ve done that you are ashamed of? Why?

Killed a doe once, and then I found out she just had babies. Wanted to help them, but they were so scared o’ me, I couldn’t even get close. Last time I hunted durin’ baby season.

Any talents or skills that you can boast about?

I can burp the alphabet in English and Spanish.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where you go? Why?

Alaska or the North Pole. Cause they’re cold and beautiful. Alaska has moose!

How do you want to die, if you could choose.

Savin’ someone. Life’s too short to think of yerself.

What’s your stance on abortion?

Every life matters. Only excusable on certain situations.

What are some bad habits that you have?

I guess some would say I have a problem with keepin’ stuff. Don’t really like to throw things away. Most a everythin’ I have, I’ve needed. Why git rid of it?

What is your ideal life partner traits? And what orientation do you prefer?

My husband was my ideal partner. Most people you give this interview to single or somethin’?

On a scale of 1 – 10, what is your self confidence level?

Uh, 8 I guess.

What’s your favorite food? Why?

Meat. More specifically, jerky. I can make a jerky out of pretty much anythin’.

Have you ever done anything illegal? What was it?

No I have not.

If you could have 3 wishes granted right now, what would they be?

Only 3 eh? That’s crap. Uh, lets go with, a bigger property with more land. Where people CAN’T trespass! *cough*Harold*cough* Second, a roommate. Livin’ alone can get lonely at times. Third, peace. Make this humans against fliers thing just stop.

 

Endings

You might say that writing the beginning of anything is the hardest part of the story. I don’t understand why people say this. Why is it hard to start something? If you already have an idea in your head, just write it out. It’s bound to click what sentence is the best sentence to start with. For me; it’s the ending.

I have written my ending a good 8 different ways now. I have never truly been satisfied with it, if I’m honest. When I first starting writing Fliers, I never thought of it being finished, even more, being more than just one book. The first run through of it, I ended it as a cliff hanger. It was a really stupid, cheesy ending. And from then on, I changed it 7 more times. I’ve come to the conclusion that endings have two possibilities.

  • Cliffhangers: Writing a cliff hanger is quite possibly the easiest thing a writer can do. Why? Well, because, you’re never really ending your story. You’re leaving it up to the readers imagination of what may be happening after everything. Don’t get me wrong, there are fantastic books that leave you on cliffhangers, basically teasing you to buy their next book. There is nothing wrong with this. However, it does become wrong if you do this for every single book you’ve ever written. It’s an easy way out to just stop writing the book because you’ve run out of ideas. (let’s face it) The way I wanted mine to end when I first started, was to have an ending of where it could end, if I wanted it too; or it could continue. It could go either way. There are loose ends to tie up, yes. But depending on how you write it, it COULD actually end there. In retrospect, I think THIS is the laziest route. …Oh well.
  • Good or Bad: This is an area I struggle with. 6 out of 8 endings I have, have ended badly. And what I mean, is there is something REALLY bad that happens. Basically, helping with the cliff hanger portion. But, bad endings can sometimes be overly dramatic and, like I said earlier, cheesy. I tried my last ending on more of a good note, and pleasant scene to picture. It was also just after a really big battle and thought it would be nice to end something on a somewhat postive note. I had to get rid of my enter last chapter too, because it just seemed boring. Good endings can also be boring too, but only if you do it poorly. Summing up anything, books, papers, or a speech can be daunting, because you want to do it exactly right and leave them with the perfect words. Those will be the last words ever, in that story. It’s challenging. But possible.

 

Update on what’s going on with me: I almost have my cover done! (yay!) And I think I may have a new editor, who was a beta reader of mine and finished it. She was the most helpful of all of my beta readers (for the second round) and I talk to her periodically on Facebook. She is so great and extremely helpful, she even went as far as suggesting ways to publish my book and telling me how she did hers. Even without getting a first draft of editing, I already have more faith than the last editor I picked out. I’m so excited because I know SHE’S excited and wants it to do really well! The only thing is, with this new editor, I may not have my book ready by March. But we’ll see! Oh, and one more thing. I am thinking of doing a subtitle for my book. If you can help me think of one, let me know. It’s not something I HAVE to have, but thought it would be fun. Especially if I am writing more than one in the series. I am coming up with like, nothing. So, literally, anything you can think of, let me know!! Lol ##

Revisions

Hello all! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done an ‘actual post’ on here! Almost done with the writing challenge though, so that will free me up to write different things that have to do with writing.

I finally received full feedback for Fliers on my second revision. Although it’s only been one reader so far that has finished, I feel it necessary to start my final revisions before proceeding to the editing stage. If I want to have this published by March, that leaves me the whole month of February to revise (a lot) and have my editor finish and then figure out HOW to publish it. I’m excited for that part! *sarcasm*

Another awesome thing; I will be revealing my OFFICIAL cover soon! I know I’ve had mock ups that I’ve done personally, but I am having a professional do the final work. I’m so excited! *not sarcasm* So make sure to keep an eye out for that, as it will be what you look for when you purchase Fliers! Thanks so much!##

* Day 21 – Lessons

I like this one, actually.

What three lessons do you want your children to learn from you?

I want kids in my future, no matter how I have to do it, and this is what I plan on teaching them.

  1. Value – I grew up in a modest family. We weren’t poor by any means but we didn’t drive Porches either. This lifestyle really helped me to understand certain values in life. One is being money, and that is really only has value when it’s been earned. Another is family values. I know I value my family more now than I did when I was a kid, cause, in my defense I was just a kid. But, we were always pretty close and talked to each other, went on camping trips, vacations together. It’s a value that not everyone gets to experience is it’s one that I will 100% instill in my children.
  2. Identity – The only way to be happy with yourself, is to be yourself. Don’t go around life and do everything in your power to be like someone else. This goes for any sexuality you are, I don’t care. But just be yourself. The best thing about being yourself, is that literally no one else in the universe can be you too; cause you’re already doing it.
  3. Education – This seems like it would go without saying, a parent wanting their kids to be educated, but it’s true. I honestly could have put this in the Value part, but this is more than just going to school. I waited too long to go back to school once I withdrew my first semester of college, and wish I never did that. Yes, college is expensive, but do it the right way, and it’s worth more than you can imagine. Education is also meant to imply to do research, discover, question everything you come across. Don’t assume everything you hear is correct or accurate. With the way technology can be (especially in their generation), everything is spread like wildfire and it’s hard to trust anything. Question everything.

There is always more to teach little ones, but they only asked for three. I do hope someday to be able to share what ‘little’ I know in life. Kids have a way of teaching us as well and I look forward to that. ##

Possible Beginning of Fliers 2

Sitting in total darkness and absent from sound, Sydona found herself completely alone in the middle of nowhere. With her heart pounding and breath quickening, she waited for a sound that would tell her to begin. Through padded earmuffs that covered her ears, she heard a faint beeping from her wrist. Ripping off the thick blindfold and earmuffs and throwing them to the ground, her eyes and ears quickly adjusted to the sunlight. The blinding sun caused her to squint her blue eyes, but ignored it as she began to search her surroundings. She was in a forest, but one she was not at all familiar with. It was sparsely populated with trees and easy to see into the distance. Although many of the trees had very wide trunks, enough for things to hide behind. The forest stood eerily quiet, with an occasional bird chirp, but then fluttered away. Her fair skinned hand touched the dirt floor, filled with leaves she had to scatter around as she searched for something. Several lines of leaves were flattened, by a car, she presumed. Sydona followed the tracks that led north, into the unknown.

She removed a pistol from her hip that was held on the opposite side of her normal dagger. Moving as quickly and silently as possible with her rugged black boots, she made her way through the woods, watching her back. With every maple leaf heard, she whipped her head around with gun ready in hand. Just then a man popped out from behind a tree with a gun pointed straight at her, and she shot him instantly before he could pull the trigger. He fell to the ground and she kept moving, carefully following the tire tracks. Her arms held straight out with the pistol ready for any other movements. A second person appeared behind her and made to many noises within the leaves. She quickly turned around to shoot them without hesitation. And continued with two more shots to another man that appeared next to them. Her pulse raced with every gunshot that rang through the woods and wiped her sweaty palms on her camouflage pants.

Taking another quick glance around her surroundings for any movements or noises, she confirmed she got everyone and moved on. She glided along the ground, keeping track of the trail soiled with tire marks. They eventually lead out of the woods and into a town that looked abandoned. It was a town she had never seen before. Her senses heightened, as she noticed several buildings that stood a few stories high. High enough for snipers and lookouts. Many of the buildings had busted out windows, some with cardboard and graffiti that looked dated. Only one car resided on the side of the road, but looked as if it was stripped of all parts, making it useless. The town was so small, she swore it was just the one street, and she could see out to the other side. Getting back to her mission, she glanced around to see where the vehicle went. A few alleys were visible from where she was standing, but unsure if they were large enough for a car. No carports or garages around where it could hide either; she had to investigate.

Glancing down at her wrist watch, it was counting up and she was at the eight minute mark. She clentched her fists and licked her lips, unhappy with the readout. Sydona ran over to the side of the road to press herself up against the buildings with her weapon ready. Spotting a quick movement inside a window on the south side of the street, she aimed her gun towards them and shot. Making her way down the wall to an alley that she assumed could fit at least a small car, she searched again for tracks. The town may be abandoned, but the streets were still in tact with no dirt that would signal tire tracks. As she cautiously ran down the alley, she approached a giant trash container. Perhaps too quickly, and a woman jumped out from behind it and disarmed her.

Sydona did a sweeping kick to her as she tried punching her, and fell to the ground. Her opponent then used her boot to kick Sydona in the stomach and push her backwards. Sydona gasped as the air was knocked out of her lungs. This gave the other woman a chance to stand back up and face Sydona. They swung at each other a few more times, with Sydona being the first one to make contact with her jaw and slammed her to the ground. Sydona pinned her down with a fist ready to keep punching, but the woman tapped her on the leg. They both nod at each other and Sydona stood back up, and ran to her gun. Reclaiming her weapon again, she continued to look for the vehicle. Along the way she took out a couple more people hiding in doors and windows.

Turning the corner, she saw the one thing that stuck out from the rest of the town; a shiny white van. Just to be sure, she approached it and peered inside the windows. It was empty of people, but still in good condition. This was the vehicle she was searching for. Placing her hand on the hood of the van, it was warm and it was still settling from the drive. Looking around for where the passengers could have gone, she noticed a door with a keypad on the outside of it. It was numbered zero to nine with letters underneath each number.

She picked the most obvious code she could think of and entered it in. ‘NFA.’

The light indicator flashed red.

Her hands shook and she glanced at her wrist again. It was at twenty-two minutes now. Gritting her teeth at the time and drawing a blank as she stared at the keypad, she tried a few more codes.

‘FLIER’; ‘MALIK’; ‘SPARROW’. Nothing happened.

Panicking at her failures, her hands vibrated even more. “Don’t worry Gia. I’m getting you out.”

Glancing down at her wrist, she wasted an entire minute thinking of the code. Then a light bulb went off in her head. What does the NFA strive to have the ability to do? Of course.

She entered in ‘FLY.’ The light flashed green and the door clicked open.

Turning the rusty handle of the seemingly abandoned building, she creeped inside with her eyes wide open. Her eyes quickly adjust to the darkness that waited indoors, only being slightly illuminated by the dirty windows. It reminded her of an old office building, with a reception desk and office doors that led down a hallway. Thinking of where they might be keeping Giovonna, she decided to find a set of stairs leading down. Perhaps there was a laboratory here, and most likely, out of sight from onlookers. As she made her way through the offices, a few more people showed up with guns, but Sydona took them all out.

Time was running out, and she needed to find her now. She ran to the back of the building where she hoped was an emergency stairwell that lead to a basement. Another man ran into her on the stairs on her way down and she took him out with no issues. At the bottom, the place opened up into a large hollowed out parking garage. It had remnants of an old camp that Willow mentioned the NFA does experiments in. A cemented brick wall made an office in the corner of the lot. It was clear that it wasn’t made when the original building was constructed. Giovonna could be held there and so she made a b-line to the office.

Two guards saw her through the window in the makeshift office and exited the room to stop her. With two clicks, she took both of them out and continued on her way. Sprinting the rest of the way across the parking lot, she kicked the door open to see Giovonna sitting in the corner with a big smile. Sydona ran past her and pressed a big black button on the wall that sounded an alarm. Looking down at her watch, it stopped at twenty-nine minutes and four seconds.

“You did it!” Giovonna jumped up and hugged Sydona who was breathing heavily.

“Yeah, just barely,” said Sydona and curved her lips upward.

Just then, the two people who were guarding Giovonna walked into the room, unharmed and grinning. They had their hands out to shake Sydona’s hand and she gladly took them.

“Congratulations, Syd. We knew you would pass,” one of them said.

“Thanks guys,” she beamed up them and slowed down her breathing. “You changed the code on me.”

The other man with buzzed brown hair shrugged and laughed, “We couldn’t make it too easy for you.”

“Yeah, whatever Scott. I know it was you who changed it, wasn’t it?” she teased.

He put both his hands up and laughed again, “It wasn’t me, I swear. It was Willow.”

“I heard my name! Ya’ll talkin’ smack behind my back?” Willow burst into the room and gave Sydona a sturdy handshake. Silas and Raoul followed behind.

“Congrats!” Silas squeezed her tight and pulled away with a quick peck on her cheek.

“What, you couldn’t do it any faster than that?!” Raoul exclaimed, making himself known to everyone in the room.

“Oh, shut up, Raoul,” Sydona laughed.

Sydona glanced around the room of smiling faces and friendly gestures and her heart felt warm. More people joined them in the room, mostly all the folks she shot on her way down there. They were all congratulating her and giving her hugs as they welcomed her to the group.

“Attention everyone,” Willow said. But when no one listened, she spoke louder. “Hey! Shut the ‘ell up!”

The room silenced and put their attention on the big red haired woman in the middle.

“I would like ta formally announce our newest member of the Sparrows, Sydona Wilder!”

The room cheered and laughed, and directed their attention to her, making her face turn slightly pink.

Willow continued while she wrapped a meaty arm around Sydona shoulders. “I met this snarky minx jus’ two short months ago and let me tell you, she was a damn handful! If it wasn’t for her fairy Raoul, who knows how things would’ve turned out for us. I know she don’t like me all that much, but she got that burnin’ fire in her that don’t stop. An’ I admire that. She single handedly took down Dr. Malik in Eagle Lake and now she wants more! Treat this woman like the princess she is and help her with anything she ask for.”

##

 

How Does the Brain Work?

To get a perspective of how things pop into my mind, here’s an example. I was cutting up chicken for my dogs and I start thinking of Sydona eating meat. She’s a vegetarian if you didn’t know. And I was thinking that she was going to be eating meat in the second book. Then I thought, why? Why would she eat meat after not eating it for 30 years?

…I see her (Sydona) in a forest, scavenging for meat. A squirrel, a rabbit, whatever. And she’s by herself, no one around. But then I thought, why, again. It’s not how it appears. Why would she be alone when Raoul was always by her side. Is she testing herself; deserted? No. She’s not alone by choice.

She’s training.

Training to be a Sparrow. ##