Monday, January 26, 2015

Busy, busy.

(Disclaimer: I do not claim all of the artwork as my own!)

Happy Monday everyone!

I shall start with the news about SACRED SISTERS! I still have not been writing each day, but I did end last week with a total of 8,283 words. The first draft for book four of the Artemis Ravenwing novels now sits at 23,286 words and 60 pages. Yes, this is with 1.5 spacing. I double-space the draft once I feel it is finished enough before showing it to my readers. Otherwise I feel like I'm cheating.

This process has had its fun moments as well as slow ones. I started off without feeling any pressure and now I feel it each time I have the document open on my computer screen. After the first three novels though, I know that everything will turn out great in the end. I do edit like a madwoman, after all. Plus, I really do have some awesome and helpful readers.

Speaking of which, I did get one set of MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN drafts back from a reader a while ago! I'm still waiting on my last two readers before I can lock myself away to look through it all. I have a set of unused Sharpies waiting for this next stage. ;)

As for CHILD OF BLACKWEN, the price for the kindle has returned to $3.99 and $13.99 for the paperback. Do stay tuned for an Amazon kindle promotion that will run February 13-15th! Please spread the word to fellow fantasy novel lovers. There will also be a book giveaway once I reach 25 reviews on Amazon! CHILD OF BLACKWEN currently has 16 Amazon reviews. There's also 3 reviews on Barnes and Noble, and 14 ratings with 6 written reviews on Goodreads. Please help out an indie author! There's no better way in helping us than to leave a review. :)

Don't forget about my autographed copies and bookmarks on my Square market either!

For those of you who are waiting for MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN to be published, I still cannot say when it'll happen for certain. I am in search of a part-time job that will help fund it better (not only will the publishing cost more this time, but I am intending to pay for a Kirkus review as well). The part-time job will also help fund my Comic Con goings/outfits; Comic Cons are really the best place to market myself and the book! I've got a few characters to cosplay in mind, Artemis Ravenwing included. I'll post progress pictures of them all once I have it.

Off to the world of Arrygn I go!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My response to the biggest demon of my life.

My name is Melanie Rodriguez. I am 25 years old; a proud biracial child of Poland and Puerto Rico. I am a published author, a dream I've had for most of my life. I am an avid reader, a sports nut, a cosplayer/shape-shifter, a major nerd, and a lover of animals.

I am also human. This is something I once struggled to admit to myself, for I always believed that I must have a strong shell to the world; no one was to see the true me. The times of naievete I had and showed the bits and pieces of the real Melanie in my youth, I experienced only pain. No matter how old one can be, mistakes will always follow. I am not so naive now. I had a dark incident happen to me at 11 years old; I'm still not ready to tell the world about this, but I can assure you that I have moved past it. I mention it nonetheless because in essence, it shaped how I've dealt with the situation I am about to share with you.

I went to high school in Hoboken, NJ. Once a redwing, always a redwing, yes? I was the girl who kept mostly to herself, though I did have a few close friends. I was known as the one who always had a book to read when I was done with my classwork. I always had a notebook and penned down my stories whenever I could steal a moment. I was "Volleyball Misty", a nickname and identity I took to Green Mountain College. To some, perhaps I was the insufferable know-it-all. To many in Hoboken High School, I was not the ideal girl to date; I wasn't considered pretty to those I liked. That isn't to say I didn't have offers from those in my school; I just thought it was the right thing to do to be honest and say "no" to them considering I never felt a pull to them.

There was one, however, who would not take "no" for an answer.

Persistence isn't unknown to us females. There is, however, a line to it.

We had a few friends in common. He learned I loved video games; Super Smash Brothers in particular. He kept asking me to play with him someday. Despite the dark feeling in my gut, I said sure, perhaps someday that can happen.

I am human. I was voted the female role of "Most Friendly" in my senior year of Hoboken High School.

I never did play video games with him. There were times I was actually and truly busy. I was a homework addict. I had volleyball conditioning. I spent every other weekend and holidays with my father in the Bronx. I barely hung out with my own friends and teammates outside of school.

One day, he asked me out. I said no.

He began to send me e-mails. He asked my friends to speak on his behalf. He didn't listen to them either.

I didn't get peace until my senior year of high school. It didn't help that I was dealing with another infatuated boy at the same time who claimed I was "an evil and a mean bitch" for telling him "no" each time he asked me out. I went out of state; a personal goal of mine, taking a page from my aunt when she went away during her time.

Freshman year of college, spring semester, I get a message from him. I was seeing someone at the time and told him so. He was seeing someone as well. I hoped he would be normal. The kind part of myself was happy for him and as a whole, I felt relieved. I thought I would never have to relive such craziness. But he went back to the old ways. I ignored his messages after that.

Junior year of college, fall semester, I get another message from him. I had a boyfriend and told him so. He had a kid and a new girlfriend; he seemed happy, but I still worried so I told him about the boyfriend and ignored him afterwards. Did I tell the boyfriend about him? No. My mindset at the time was this: he couldn't really do anything about it. It was not that I didn't trust him to help; I just don't really date often and am used to dealing with everything myself. Obsessive guy was in Jersey, boyfriend in grad school in Connecticut, and I still in Vermont. I kept telling myself that the problem was mine, not his.

I had peace. I moved to Santa Fe, fell in and out of love (such is life, yes?), and finally committed to being a writer.

Then my peace was shattered.

I had a dream about you recently. I don't know why you're still on my mind so many years later, or why you were even so important to me back then. If anyone were to ask me, I would have told them you were the girl of my dreams, my soulmate, but in reality, I knew nothing about you. I tried so hard to get you to notice me, sometimes in ways that made me look like an idiot. I think back on those bad ideas and suddenly become overwhelmed with embarrassment and shame.

I tried to be what I thought you would like, but again, I didn't even know you. Maybe if I were more honest, we could have at least become friends, I would have liked that. You were , unknowingly, the cause of my first and last impulsive and illogical actions, and maybe that's why you still occasionally cross my mind, or maybe it's because I never really had a chance, and you're the one that got away. It's a cliche but it's the only logical explanation.

Although you were a stranger I felt like I knew you. In my fantasy you were a good person, trying to always do right, but you seemed to have monster hidden in your smile, as do I. The point of this wall of text is To ask for your help. I'm content with my life, I have a girlfriend, a good career path, and a son that means the world to me, and I still can't get you out of my mind. I want to forget you, to move on without any doubts, and I can't do that while you're this perfect mythical being in my head. If you have any mercy at all, then give me a reason to forget you. Tell me why you aren't perfect, tell me about how you're just a smart girl with a pretty face.

I cried. I opened up to my mother and showed the e-mail to her. I started spamming the "block" link.

I eventually completed my dream and published my book. The fear later returned when this came:

I realize how much of an annoying creep you must think I am. Believe me, I know how pathetic all of this is. I've had many people genuinely dislike me before, I can't, for the life of me, figure out why you're so special in my mind, especially since you've been nothing but mean to me. (Not saying that it wasn't justified) All I want is to have a conversation with you. I want to get to know just enough to get you out of my head. I know it is very unlikely that you would have enough tolerance to write to me after all of my tragic attempts to get your attention, but if you are ever feeling alone or just need someone to vent to, please consider me.

Congrats on your success with the book. 

Spamming the "block" link became a habit. I kept telling myself that talking to him before never worked, so why would that change now? So I kept ignoring him.

I found out one day that he found the e-mail address through my Facebook author page. He commented on a picture of a cosplay recently and it slipped my mind that it was him. That was how peaceful I had been since that last e-mail, how much of that crap I blocked from my mind. I found out how to block him through the page and did so. I received this this morning:

Some Guy 1/17/15

So I'm not even allowed to be a fan? I'm glad that you never let us be friends, you are a terrible person.

I have to admit that I laughed at first. Then I actually said aloud, "go fuck yourself."

I am human. I am sometimes too kind for my own good. I am not, however, going to sit here and tolerate this anymore. I have a power too; my strength lies in the beautiful devices called words. I use them now to show the world that this is happening and how this person does not rule me. I have tried to be the bigger person many times; I tried to be kind. Then I realized that I can't be. I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE. He is the one trying to disrupt my life, trying to guilt trip me into believing that I am this evil spirit who has wronged him. I should not have to apologize for being who I am, for saying "no." I am not guilty for one's obsession, for one's need to make multiple e-mail accounts in the efforts to contact me when I have blocked him each time.

Nelson "Sito" Rivero, YOU are the monster. Retaliate all you wish; the world now knows what you've done and just how pathetic YOU are.

And I am nowhere near sorry.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Back to work.

(Source: Writers Write)

Back to work indeed! Being Tauriel for a day at Albuquerque Comic Con was really fun, but now I need to go back to being productive on SACRED SISTERS. I probably say this each time I write new books, but it is true: it feels so great to be writing again. I wrote a total of 6,695 words last week, and no, I did not write every day (for shame, I know). The closer the weekend got, the more excited I was for cosplay and becoming a bookmark fairy! I didn't get to hand out as many as I wanted to, but that's quite fine. That just means more for you guys to nab from my Square Market! They'll also be autographed, so don't miss out! You can reach my market here: I also have seven autographed paperbacks of CHILD OF BLACKWEN left there too. :)

When I did write new material for SACRED SISTERS last week, I had a gut feeling that this novel is going to be big. By big, I mean possibly 200,000+ words rather than the usual 100,000+ words. That's how much the characters are talking to me. Personally, I think it's because it's been a year without writing a new Artemis Ravenwing novel and the characters are making me pay for it. When I reread the recent draft of CHAMPIONS OF ARRYGN, however, I just knew there was going to be a lot to cover for the new book. Wish me luck! I will admit that I've miraculously felt little to no pressure when I started the novel. I know I'm going to edit the draft at least five times before I feel that I can leave it alone for a time...and then edit it again five more times. My editing Sharpie collection has grown recently, so I'm more than prepared for those stages of the game.

The editing might include the title name too. It all depends on how the novel will go. Remember, I do not outline. I write like a madwoman and then fix it all in the end. It hasn't failed me yet!

Of course, I'll squeeze some crafting when I'm not writing. I have a brand new sewing machine now! I'm going to be fixing up my Tauriel bracers at some point, and I'm finally going to start the wolf latch hook pattern I've had for a year and a half now. I'd like to turn it into a little pillow (I'll take pictures once it is completed). The next Comic Con for me could be the one in Denver, I'm not so sure yet. I have to get my second job first and then figure it out from there. Should it happen, Link is going to come back out for one of the days (I do have the recently crafted Navi to add to the cosplay now!). As for the other, I'll likely be Sheena from Tales of Symphonia. The only cosplay that will happen for sure before the year is over is Alucard from Hellsing. And yes, I will be handing out bookmarks and business cards during those Comic Cons. :)

One last thing before I disappear into Arrygn for the afternoon! I've been involved with the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement on both Twitter and Facebook. It is composed of indie authors from all over the world and is such a fun community. A lot of us are involved with the Indie Book Club on Goodreads too. If you are an indie author or a reader looking for a new book to add to your list, please join us on Goodreads! Here is the link: We could all use your support and reviews! I will have a book giveaway once I reach 25 Amazon reviews as well.

Now, off to writing! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Albuquerque Comic Con!

I spent my day yesterday at Albuquerque Comic Con! A different vibe from the Santa Fe Comic Con, but I had some fun nonetheless. I was also the only Tauriel in attendance (which was a successful cosplay, mind you)! Amazing, right? Some CHILD OF BLACKWEN bookmarks found new homes, I met a few celebs, ran into familiar cosplayers from the Santa Fe Comic Con and met some new ones. How long must I wait until the next con? :)

I didn't get to take as many pictures as last time sadly, but please enjoy what I do have!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Big week!

Yes, I should be! SACRED SISTERS, book 4 of the Artemis Ravenwing novels, starts this week! Who's excited?

I spent the time last week to read through CHAMPIONS OF ARRYGN, which is book 3 of the series. I needed to remember some of the old ideas that weren't written down. It was hard not to edit while doing so, I can't continue the extensive cohesion edit yet. Then why write book 4, you ask? Because a year of not writing a brand new book is torture. Granted, it was great to finally publish CHILD OF BLACKWEN and re-edit MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN, but it's time to get crackin' in the major creation department again.

The marketing work never ends, however. And last week, these beauties came in:

We officially have bookmarks! I will be handing them out during the Albuquerque Comic Con this coming weekend (Come find me if you're there! I will be dressed as Tauriel from The Hobbit movies!). Whatever is left over, I will be selling via my Square Market. Stay tuned for more news there! :)

If you haven't heard yet, I finished 2014 with 16 Amazon reviews for CHILD OF BLACKWEN! I shared a teaser chapter from MISTRESS OF BLACKWEN here on my blog as a reward (if you hadn't checked it out yet, stop what you're doing, go find it and read it!). I am still in need of reviews, so I have a new stipulation concerning them. If I get 25 Amazon reviews, I will do a book giveaway! Two autographed copies of CHILD OF BLACKWEN would be up for grabs. Remember, once I get 25 Amazon reviews, the giveaway can happen. 

I also started a new reading challenge for this year. I'm going for 35 books this year. I know it's less than what I had last year, but there's so much that'll be going on during 2015. I will still review books even if I hit 35 books before the year ends, so no worries there. It just will not happen as quickly this time around. Nonetheless, wish me luck! I intend to read a TON of indie books as well. 

Have a happy Monday all!