Hello, my name is Nina and I’m a Workaholic!

I wasn’t always like this. At one time, I’m sure I was just your normal average run of the mill kid. I liked to play with my friends, go to the park, have sleep-overs, and all kinds of great things. Then when I took that first job… FoodLand grocery bagger it all changed. I went to school and worked. I liked making money, and actually being able to put gas in my car and buy the things I wanted.

When I started college I went to school full-time (which was like a job), worked on campus part-time, and worked off campus part-time. Not to mention I was in the theatre department and was constantly involved with a show which took up most if not all of my evenings.

After graduating college (in exactly 4 years) I decided to continue to work on campus full-time, and take a few more classes (just for fun) while working part-time at the local high school teaching tech theater and tool safety! Oh yeah, and I was still constantly involved with a show, but instead of it being on campus I was producing, directing, and acting in shows off campus with a theatre troop I helped found.

When I finally moved out to California to try to make it BIG (insert laugh here) I took on a full-time job along with daily auditions and twice weekly acting classes. But, I kept on trucking…

I left Hollywood, and started a family with my amazing husband! Okay, so just because being a mom doesn’t pay – doesn’t make it any less a job. I happen to love being a mom, and it’s a job I wouldn’t trade for the world, but it can be tiring and hard and stressful just like any other job, and you don’t get off after 8 hours of work its a 24 hour a day job for the rest of your life! So, I do that… and a full-time job, and a part-time job, and of course I am trying… when I have time… to be a writer.

Okay, so my progress in the writing field can’t really be seen over these last few months, but it is still a dream.

I have recently sent my latest version of book 1 to my editor Jamie Aitchison (haven’t heard back yet). I am working on book 2 rewrites… I plan to pick it back up in the second week of January. My goal is to have book 2 rewrites done by the end of February. Then I will start back in on book 3. I’ve already written about 10 chapters, but due to all the edits in the first 2 books, I think I’ll pretty much be starting from scratch, oh well.

So, you see… I’m a workaholic! Wish I wasn’t, but there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything I need to do.

If anyone out there can think of a way to add two more hours to my day, let me know.

My Latest Endeavor

Editor’s Letter – 7 Stages of Grief

They say that when you suffer a loss or tragedy in your life you go through the seven stages of grief. I would say that these stages are not all that different from what a writer goes through after receiving notes/edits from their editor. Although, maybe the process from one stage to the next is a little quicker, than say for someone who just lost a loved one.

Today I received an email from my editor. The email was four printed pages long, single spaced, and rather small font. As soon as I opened it I was SHOCKED (stage one) that all of these notes could possibly be about my book DENIAL (stage one continued)! Then I realized that not only were the notes on these four printed pages, but when I opened the attachment, my manuscript, I realized that there was not a single page, or even paragraph, that didn’t have deletions/additions/notes, etc.

OH MY GOD!!! PAIN (stage two) struck through my gutt and heart like a knife sliding into butter. I quickly shut the attachment, not wanting to see all the red mark-ups. I decided that reading the email first would be best. However, that only led to the impending GUILT (stage two continued) that I felt for having put this woman through reading, my obviously horrible manuscript. Why on earth would I have tortured her in that why?

Then I got to thinking. Why hadn’t any of the previous six people who read my manuscript told me how awful it really was? Why did they lead me to believe that it was good? ANGER (stage three). I began BARGAINING (stage three continued) with myself, telling myself that the story isn’t really that bad and maybe it just wasn’t her cup of tea, yadda yadda yadda.

Finally, I started really looking deeper into my editor’s notes. I read the email at least five or six times, and slowly I began to doubt myself, my ability to complete this project. Not only did I feel completely alone, because no one else was going to do it for me, but I felt like maybe I wasn’t going to be able to do it either. DEPRESSION (stage four) struck after reading the letter for the seventh time, but that didn’t last long! I’m not one to wallow. I put the letter down, woke up my children up, and got them ready for school. After seeing their smiling faced I decided that feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

I am always telling my children they can do anything and be anything they want in life. If I was going to set that example then I couldn’t allow myself to just give up so easily. I changed my attitude and read the editor’s letter again, and this time I looked at it not as a personal attack, but as constructive criticism, and I took an UPWARD TURN (stage five) toward a better attitude.

I called my editor and left a message, thanking her for all of her hard work and the great feedback she provided. I knew that reading the notes she sent me wasn’t going to be easy, and that I have a hard road ahead of me to get my book to its finished product, but that if I just WORK THROUGH (stage six) it with an open mind then I would be able to get it done.

So, now I am at that point of ACCEPTANCE (stage seven). I understand the task I am left with and I know that there is a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I am okay with that. I am willing to accept that challenge, and not back down. On top of all of that I have a new sense of HOPE (stage seven continued) that this challenge will bring with it a whole new set of experiences, and that I will learn so much from this process.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it isn’t going to be easy, and I am sure that in about a week or so I will be back on her crying, bitching, moaning, and complaining about all the work, and the fact that it is to hard, impossible, etc. However, for today, I am optimistic.

I’d like to say thank you! Thank you Jamie Aitchison, for taking the last two months to put so much hard work into my manuscript. It has been a huge project for me, and it means a lot to me that you would be so brutally honest with me. I know that sometimes it’s easier to say the nice thing, trying to avoid hurting someones feelings, but thank you for taking the harder road and telling me the hard to hear truth. With your notes and a lot of hard work I am confident that I can get this book to be as great as I know it can be.

WRITE… Write… write…

Okay… let me start by saying, I miss my husband! He recently started classes toward his masters program, and he attends classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening. I know what you’re thinking, “Tuesday and Thursday? Is that all?” and you’re right. It’s only two days a week, not bad at all. Yet, still… I miss him when he isn’t home with me and the kids. Although above even that I am incredibly proud of him! Going back for his masters isn’t going to be an easy road, by any stretch of the imagination, and the fact that he is doing it with a full-time job, two kids, and a sometimes needy wife, I commend him!

Now, as I sit here and sulk… I can do one of two things. I can literally eat the pan of brownies in the kitchen and watch television until he gets home – not a bad idea, or I can pull out my computer and get to work! I am choosing the second option. I am always struggling to find time to write, and now with him going back to school I have been given two evenings a week, after the kids are in bed of course, to do just that. So, take advantage of it I will.

My goal is to see significant progress by the end of this coming weekend… which is to say that I will finally get through chapter eleven!

I think that my creativity has maybe taken a brief vacation, and left me in somewhat of a stump or creative block. I shall hammer through it this week though, and come out victorious! lol… That actually sounded confident. This just may work. If not, I might just cry… I figure if I don’t get to work soon, then when I receive my editor’s notes next weekend I really will cry. I am expecting them to be detailed and extensive, because that is what everyone had told me editors like to do. I have mentally prepared, but who knows how much that will really help. Although, I do look forward to the suggestions. I am excited to get book one in the Blood Angel series ready for the publisher, and an editor is just one of the many steps so… BRING IT ON!!!

Two weeks and counting…

I have a two-week deadline looming overhead. By Saturday August 6th, I am to have book 2 to my editor, and although it is already written I have not yet gone back through it to do a final edit on my own, and the people I have reading it have not yet gotten back to me! AHHHHHH

I’m not dragging me feet, really I’m not. It’s just that with two kids, a husband, a full-time job, a part-time job, and a house to clean there really isn’t a whole lot of time on my plate to write. I try to squeeze in time whenever I can… kids weekend nap time (right now!!!), after the kids go to bed at night (when nothing good is on tv…), etc. But, still not a lot of time to devote just to my writing.

I am making myself a promise, here and now! I will pick up book two this weekend, and get through chapters one through ten! Okay, maybe that is a little ambitious considering when I do final edits I tend to rewrite large portions, insert completely new chapters, and/or delete large portions… Okay, I’m still going to aim for chapters one through ten, but I am not going to be too hard on myself if its more like one through five. LOL

Okay, today is almost over, with the babysitter soon to arrive, so… I better be off to work. Wish me luck and think of me often.

Dug In…

So… Following the advice of a good friend, I dug deeper! I actually spent the last eight days reading, reviewing, and editing my manuscript. My goal wasn’t to add fluff just to make it longer, but instead to add only content that would benefit and add to the story line. I think I succeeded, but only time will tell.

After completing the first version it went through multiple levels of editing; the first being myself reading and editing it many MANY times, the second being my close (in proximity) friends, the third being my distant (again proximity) relatives, and then finally my good friend out in California who finally gave me advise I could use. That advise was what lead me to ‘Dig Deeper’. Now that the digging is done, I have finally sent my manuscript off to my editor.

Now I sit, dug in, and wait… and wait… and wait!

I would love to say I’m not nervous, and party of me isn’t, but the other part… well it is. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that a professional editor is a MUST, and I truly believe that I have picked the right one for my project. I’m excited and scared, but I can take criticism as long as it’s constructive, as I’m sure it will be. Therefore I am eagerly awaiting her edits, thoughts, and recommendations, as I push forward and ‘digging deeper’ into manuscript number two!

Now I’m off to the trenches to write…

Got an Editor!

Very exciting day!

I am two and a half books into my series ‘Blood Angel’ and I am so excited to announce that today I found my editor. I have been talking with numerous editors over the past few months, to find the perfect one, and this weekend it happened. I had a conference call with her this morning, and book one is already in her hands. Now I just hold my breath and wait… Not my strong suit. However, I am looking forward to the constructive comments, and this amazing new step toward my books future.

I am excited to introduce Jamie Aitchison, who works out of Chicago, IL. She is a copy editor who provides clear, concise syntax while maintaining the author’s unique voice and tone. She takes pride in being highly meticulous, detailed and organized in her proofreading work. With her Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts and creative writing with a concentration in journalism, from Eastern Michigan University, she not only brings an amazing imagination and open mind to every project she also has a very strong focus on punctuation, grammar, spelling, voice and word choice.

I plan to share this process, ups and downs, as things unfold. So, come on this journey with me one step at a time. hopefully when it is all said and done Mrs. Aitchison will grace us with an interview and share some of her trade secrets for how she does what she does, and why she loves it so much.