Thursday, May 7, 2020

The First Bump

I guess it's time for another post. Still hard to get back into the swing of things, so bear with me. It's certainly a struggle. I'll take the time to say that whatever you're out there struggling with, keep at it. I'm with you. I'm here to help you put that block behind you and keep going. Life sucks right now and has the potential to get a lot worse before it gets better, so let's stay in this together.

As stated in my previous post, the rocks that started rolling downhill on top of me started in late December 2017 went I spent the night in the ER. They were the first signs of the avalanche waiting to come but minor in the grand scheme of things and also something I had spoken about before on my blog. I had spent the week with a terrible headache and couldn't stop throwing up. Not only was it horrible, but it was terrifying. I was able to get the cat scan that was long overdue and in January 2018 was finally diagnosed with chronic migraines.

Although this was something I had been dealing with for a while, it gave a name to the pain and a pathway to control. I began seeing a neurologist, and although we went through a lot of trial and error at first, we finally landed on some medication that has dampened the migraines' effects and stopped most altogether. Huge win here.

To put it mildly and short, the fibroid they found was benign, thankfully. However, it was the size of a tennis ball and nearly as round. I don't want to give too much detail, but there was some damage caused, and I had to have a hysterectomy. I had to make the decision to delay my return to college and bump out the course I had signed up for or try to push through the course work during my surgery and downtime. I chose the latter and finished the course with an A. The first step in that journey was taken.

So 2018 didn't get kicked off to a great start, but I still decided to go back to school. I had to find something flexible since I was still working a 40-hour week with an hour commute, so online was the only option. I researched, chose the school, situated my finances, and enrolled. That in itself was a chore, but I was set to start in September 2018. My yearly wellness check was in August, only a few weeks before my start date. That was when the real avalanche started.






I'll save the events of 2019 for a later post. I know we're still playing catchup here, but here's a flash-forward at what I'm currently reading. The Black Prism by Brent Weeks.

Until then. Happy reading!

Friday, May 1, 2020

To New Beginnings

It’s been so long, where do I even start? I guess by saying this post has been in my mind for some time as I’ve known what I’ve wanted to say, but when to say it? I even hinted at a few things before my grand disappearing act in 2018, but after the silence had lingered for so long, it was easier to let it be than try to break it before I was ready. Now the question is, am I ready?
No.
But sometimes life is there to force our hand whether we want it or not, and at least this time I’m glad for it.
I’d like to say that over my nearly two years of radio silence that all I’ve been up to is work and family, that the dreaded 9 to 5 has just ate away at me, and it’s all I can do to keep up with that and family. Such has not been the case. Oh lordy, has that not been the case. I have so much to tell you. So much so that this story will require multiple blog postings and maybe a glass or two of wine. At the very least, you may want to get your popcorn ready for some later postings, but for now, I’ll start you off lite.
Although my last couple of years have been terribly rocky, there is one main culprit that has stolen most of my time. In September 2018, I took my ass back to college. That’s right. I’m finally finishing out my degree. Now, because I have a full-time job, along with some other events that happened between then and now, this has taken a little longer than originally anticipated, but I will graduate this year. I can assure you that after graduation, all of that time spent on school will be back to working on my books.
Now I’ve managed to find some meager time to write and work on my new website here and there, it hasn’t been as much as I’d have liked. Right now, writing is like taking a vacation. Also, since I knew this would be a series of posts, I didn’t want to commit to writing on posts, then end up going weeks, maybe a month before I could find time to get another post down. I feel that the next post might be a bit time-consuming. However, there has been another unexpected shift in my schedule that I will get into more later that will hopefully free up a little more time.
It does feel good to be posting again, though. For now, I’ll keep it at this and look forward to getting another post up soon.
Until then… Happy Reading!

Friday, December 1, 2017

***Insert Exaltation Here***

Winner 2017 - Web Banner


NaNoWriMo 2017 is officially over!

AND, I would like to add, officially won!

Image result for celebration gifs

Another month of furious pantsing behind me. I've done it before without a plan. I've done it before with a plan, and every time somewhere in the middle, I'm wondering what the hell I'm doing. Not sure if I'll ever figure it out, but at least I was able to find the will to keep going. That's half the fight, right?

Anyway, the story isn't exactly finished, so work will continue on this novel, but here is where I ask for help. I posted a link at the beginning of NaNo, announcing that I would be posting a chapter a day on Tablo. I also completed that... somehow... because apparently I wanted to torture myself by working on two books this month. Oy, I might be a little bit insane.

Well, posting this was hard. This book has only been seen by my eyes so far. No editing. No beta-reading. Just words of barely more than a first draft. However, that's what Tablo asked for, and now I have a chance of getting this in front of a publisher, but I need help. They are looking at books based on 'hits' and 'active read time.' The book has been doing fairly well, better than I had actually expected, so thank you for those that have signed up for Tablo and favorited the work! I see you, you beautiful people!

But I still need more to boost the book into the top percent so it'll be noticed. If you haven't already, please check it out, and if you already have an account, please spread the word. Trust me, every little bit helps in a big way! I've got my fingers crossed. 

What we built, they drained away...

So today I'm taking a break. A time to breathe before I dive back into that wonderful sea of stories and words. My goal is another 50k in December to try to finish this up WHILE working on Dreamland - Part Three, and that name may change. I'm looking at rebranding, and TPC will probably be the last books published under my D.R.Johnson pen. Future books will probably be under my extended name instead of just my initials. Deets on that will be posted here, of course, but just a warning of what's coming!

Until then, happy reading! 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It starts...

Happy November 1st! The first day of NaNoWrimo, the writing challenge that started it all for me. I think, had I known those five years ago what I'd been able to accomplish with my yammering, I would have started sooner. Am I anywhere near the goals I set out for myself? No, but everyday I'm getting closer, and that's what I have to focus on.

It seems every year I'm on the fence on if I actually want to jump into NaNo again. It's a challenge, and I've proved to myself that I can write 50k words in a month multiple times, so the challenge isn't exactly what it started out as for me, so why bother?

This year I've realized that's not the point.

I threw my hat of plot-ideas to one of my friends and let her pick one, not even bothering to set up my story until today. Creating a new Scrivener document felt like a chore, and then I had to name the damn thing. Ugh. That was the hardest part so far. Next step was to set up the outline, go over my notes and begin the long process of turning this prompt into an actual story.

So I wrote.

I passed my daily goal, finished out the scene and off I went to NaNo to update my word count. That's when it hit me. Seeing that old familiar screen, my daily stats up there so bright and shiny, and the sense of accomplishment that washed through me. I've been in editing mode for so long now, I've almost forgotten the joy of writing.

"A blank page was nothing but potential, pointless until it was used." 
~ Brandon Sanderson

So NaNoWriMo isn't a challenge, but an event. A month of reckless writing where I don't have to worry about editing, adverbs and punctuation. Where I don't have to flip back and forth between Ali's cynicism and Joss's naivety. That balance between the part of the world he only thinks he can save and the good Ali doesn't think she can accomplish. I know it's just me sitting at a desk for hours, working out these problems in my head, but it is exhausting work.

First drafts into a new story, new characters, new places are nothing but pure potential. A fresh journey I can walk with my brand new characters, a vacation a can spend away from TPC, and when I come back to Ali and Joss, it will feel like home.

And then I remember I wrote their POV's in first person.

Hello Darkness, my old friend...

Anyway. Enough writing for today. If you'd like to follow me on a different journey, I'm trying something a new.. and well.. a little scary. I've joined the NaNoWriMo community over at Tablo, and I'm posting a chapter a day of the novel I'm getting ready to release. The title isn't concrete yet, but what title ever is? (A hint at more scary things to come.)

Join me at Tablo!

Only 47,807 words left to go! Happy Reading!







Thursday, June 22, 2017

Update

Stopping by to leave a quick update and an explanation as to why I've been missing for the past 6 or so months.

First off, I'll apologize for not getting this up here sooner. Even though I have hit a huge stumbling block in this chapter of my life, I've had time to get a post up, but it felt like I was opening a can of worms. Regardless, it should have been done, but was not. I am only human, as I'm reminded of far too often.

This stumbling block has forced me to choose how I spend my available time, and that meant having to turn away from my blog and social media presence in favor of working on my books. Even though I can't always keep to the schedule I set for myself, rest assured that I am still devoting time to my stories.

The Walk will be a three book series. The first draft is finished (for the entire trilogy), and I'm currently working through chapter 71 of the 108 chapter manuscript. This has been an undertaking I gravely underestimated. However, having a completely finished story has made the continuity easier to work with, which is an element I often struggle with in The Phoenix Curse.

And working with Edy and her girls in The Walk has been far less painful than putting the words down on paper that will end Dreamland.

So there is my quick update. I cannot promise that you will see me here more often, but I can promise to try.

Happy reading, folks, and in case you missed it. Dreamland - Part Two is now available in paperback through Amazon.com.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Reveal


Finally.

The news you've been waiting for.

Just in time for Christmas.

Dreamland - Part Two coming December 22nd.