School started yesterday, and that means I’m back at my desk. I love this time of the year, as it’s when I get most of my writing done. I usually began a new novel around this time and have the first draft completed by winter. Then I can slack a little from Thanksgiving to Christmas before I began proofing and editing in January. Reading, rereading, having an editor look at it, rereading and making the suggested changes, and then having beta readers go through the final version takes a few months before its release in the spring. Then I can slack off again over the summer. (Well, it looks like I’m slacking and sleeping by the pool. However, I’m actually plotting and visualizing scenes during those moments.)

You’re probably wondering what happened to that timeline this year, as Unexpected Beginning hasn’t been released yet. That’s because I decided to reread my debut novel, Unexpected Metamorphosis, around this time last year to update it to my current writing style. Although I didn’t expect it to take too long, I ended up making major changes (not to the story, just to the writing), and it turned into a complete rewrite. I quickly learned that my writing style drastically changed throughout the past few years, and I wasn’t happy with it.

That set me back quite a bit, but I still thought I could make the spring deadline if I worked longer hours. However, we all know life can sometimes get in the way of our plans, and that’s exactly what happened. Some family emergencies had me on the phone and traveling quite a bit. I got slammed in more than one direction, with more than one problem. The chaos not only pulled me away from my laptop, but it left me exhausted–physically and emotionally.

The good news is I’m out of the chaos and have recovered from the negativity thrown my way. Unless someone is hospitalized, I don’t plan on packing my bags for the rest of the year. I foresee lots of hot tea, dark chocolate, and writing in complete solitude–the best therapy.

Dark times are golden to writers, as that’s where we get most of our ideas. Alissia’s story came to me during a very dark season in my life, and although I had never written a book, I could not focus on anything else. Unexpected Metamorphosis was never planned. It was forced on me! Within a week of Alissia coming to mind, her story consumed my thoughts, and for my own sanity, I had to start typing it.

With all the chaos this past year, a new story came to mind, and it’s dying to come out. I’m eager to finish Alissia’s adventure so that I can get the new book out of my head. Inspiration is both a curse and a gift. Artists will usually tell you we are slaves to our creativity. I don’t struggle with story ideas. I struggle with the amount of ideas and scenes constantly consuming my thoughts, and I wish I could write faster.

As for Unexpected Beginning, I only have about 15,000 more words before it’s finished. Then I’ll start the dreaded proofing and editing. With this being my most productive time of the year, it shouldn’t take but a few months for a release. I’ll need more beta readers, and if you’re interested in joining the list, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I haven’t sent anything out in a while, but I always deliver important information through the newsletter.