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Failure IS an Option

I’m a huge fan of the Mythbusters. Science. Explosions. Mechanical stuff. Interesting ways of looking at a problem. How could I not be a fan?

One of the things they often say is: Failure is an option! And failure is an option for me, too.

We live in a world that is constantly striving for success. To get a job you have to be a go getter, extrovert, hard worker that is constantly kissing your bosses ass. Right? That’s how you get ahead. You don’t show your faults, or insecurities. You don’t cry when the boss doesn’t like your ideas. You don’t sweat it, just hold your chin high and keep going.

Then you have the Mythbusters who are constantly messing up. Adam burns his eyebrow off. Tory crashes a bicycle. Kari throws up. But they keep chugging along trying to test the myths and see what makes the world tick. They fail CONSTANTLY, but they learn in their failures and try again.

With me and my writing… failure is an option. Some days I completely fail and don’t get any writing done. Other days I feel guilty for slacking and I’ll go write a thousand words off the cuff. From each failure I learn something about myself, and how I work. I learn how long I can sit at the computer, and how much I can write before my brain starts ticking away at other things. I know what I can listen to, and what I can’t before I can’t concentrate on anything except the words in my headphones.

Failure is an option, because failure is a learning opportunity. Failure is a starting point. It can spawn new ideas and lead you down new paths.

But failure is frustrating too. I keep missing deadlines I give myself, and I keep pressing forward. Eventually I’m going to finish writing this book and have something to show for nearly a year of work, but till then I keep failing, and trying to find the bright spots in it. Like discovering how the curse was broken, or understanding the motive behind a character, or working out the language on a tricky section of text.

Now… back to writing. (It’s at 89.4k words atm.)

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2014 in On Writing

 

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Update

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written an update so I thought I should check in with everyone on progress.

Last week I showed the new cover I made for “The Scarab Necklace”. It came out incredibly well and I really loved it. I wrote a small section of the story and fleshed out the plot so that I could go back and finish it when I was ready.

That gave me a needed break from “Mermaid’s Curse” and I’ve since been back to finishing that. It is 88.5k words long now. I just have a couple chapters to finish up… All battle scenes; go figure. I’ve plotted them out and I’m just going through and making them read correctly now before sending it to an editor.

I’m loving this story. Don’t get me wrong, after nearly a year working on this, and stareing at it every day, I’m going to be soooooooooo happy to be done with it. But the story, the tragedy, the adventure, and the world make me so very happy. It’s the first full length novel that I can say I’m really proud of.

For NaNoWriMo this year I’ve already plotted out a new “Eternal Tapestry” book. There will be five books in that series. Hopefully I’ll finish writing two of them by the end of next year, though I’m going to shoot for three. Since they are only 30k words long it doesn’t take as long to write them. Forgotten Ones took three months, start to finish, and another month to edit. So… Let’s see if I am getting faster or not in the new year.
The next one, “Goddess Born”, is going to be number one in the series. It tells the story of the first meeting between Maylin, the new fate of the present, and Jadina, the fate of the past.

“Unicorn’s Fury” and “Gaia’s Blood”, the next two books in the series, draw on their experiences with other gods and goddesses in the modern world. I haven’t decided if there will be more in this series because I have other stories I want to get to, but it is definitely a fun series to write.

Okay, back to editing “Mermaid’s Curse”.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2014 in Updates

 

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Meet my Character – Okira

I had so much fun participating in the “Meet my Character Bloghop”. Maya Goode invited me, and I just couldn’t resist. It was a great opporunity to really define who Okira is.

1) What is the name of your character?
Okira is the offspring of a merman, and a witch. A magical, and very rare crossbreed.

2) When and where is the story set?
The story is set in the islands of The Sea of Tears on the world of Peyllen. It is a rich fantasy world where the inhabitants were birthed from the various elements, and their magic and make up reflect those elements. The Sea of Tears has been cut off from the rest of the world by a cult who control a kraken, and the kraken sees to it that no ship may enter or exit the Sea of Tears without the acolytes permission.

3) What should we know about him/her?
Okira is doubly cursed. Because of her heritage she can not enter the sea without the kraken feeling her magical essence and killing her. She was also cursed soon after her birth to die the moment she finds love.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
The acolytes have hunted witches to the brink of extinction, and once they learn of Okira they seek her out to use her latent magical essence in a ritual that will change the entire Sea of Tears.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Okira wants to return to the sea, her mermaid blood calls out for her to do so, but she can only do so if the kraken is dead.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
Mermaid’s Curse. You can find blurbs from the book here, here, here and here.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?
I am working on the final chapters, and once finished will send it out to be edited and get a good cover. Once that is done it will be published. It should be by the end of October.

My Bio
I live in the cloudy state of Washington near Seattle with my three children, and a cat. Manager of a little store by day, writer by night, I’ve published 20+ short stories and three novellas. Mermaid’s Curse will be the first full length novel. I do all of my own cover art, but have learned that you (almost) always need a good editor. I started publishing in earnest in April of 2013.

To find me, my work, and a newsletter where you can sign up for a free book go to crissymoss.com
I can also be found here: http://about.me/crissymoss

I was Tagged by:

Maya Goode 1Maya Goode is a short story author, novelist, and poet. Raised by an amazing mercurial woman who shared neither blood nor race, she lives on the edge of identities and writes deeply honest stories about the human journey. She is an alumna of Dominican University of California and resides somewhere between mountains and the ocean. Her first novel, Remigium Rising, will be published in Spring 2015. You can visit her at www.mayagoode.com

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/quotidianlight

Google Plus https://plus.google.com/+quotidianlight
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/quotidianlight

~Meet Next Week’s Author – Scott Richards~ 

20140618_202924Scott is a California-based author where he is forced to live with all of the characters in his head. Despite what you may hear shrieked into the night air, he is a sad, crazy little man.

He is maintained by those familiar few for the rare nugget he spouts on occasion. These mad ramblings are recorded, then dictated back to old shoe-cobbling elves that have retired, but still like to “keep themselves busy” as stipulated per their Retired Original Union Group Home (R.O.U.G.H.) contract agreements.

Show your support for this noble cause.

Think of the children.

-Scott Richards
Author of the Darlicci’s Shroud series
Website: http://www.theshroudbetween.com
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/WSdktb

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in On Writing

 

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Feminism in Video Games

578253Anyone who knows me knows that I have an addiction. I spend far too much on video games, humble bundles, and steam sales. I play far too many video games when I should be writing. In general… Hi. My name is Crissy, and I’m a game addict.

I own 281 games on Steam. I have a binder FILLED with more games like Baulders Gate, Settlers, and Might and Magic. Games that I love, and sometimes install just for the nostalgia. That isn’t even considering the consoles I own, and all the games for each of them.

I don’t finish a lot of games. Most of the time it’s because the game looses my interest and I go off to the next shiny thing. Sometimes it’s because the game is too difficult for me and I’d rather just watch someone else play it on a let’s play. Sometimes it’s just not my type of game and I never get past the first few levels. But I’ve been playing games since I was a teenager, and own a lot of consoles to prove it, so I’ve also had my share of completions.

Why am I talking about video games? Because this week there has been a HUGE upsurge in interest regarding Anita Sarkeesian and her “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” series. Most of it started because of the controversy around Zoe Quinn and the accusations that her ex boyfriend leveled on her.

Now, let’s reflect for a second that Zoe’s EX BOYFRIEND accused her of things and tons of people just jumped onto it without even considering where the source came from. I don’t presume to know if it happened or not, I honestly don’t care at this point. What I do know is that it is a suspicious situation, and people on both sides of the Quinn debate have been assholes to each other, and especially to Miss Quinn herself.

Then there is Sarkeesian, the controversy surrounding her kickstarter and where the funds went. The rumors about her statements that she didn’t even like video games. Reports that she stole art images and let’s play footage. Then her portrayal of games as “sexist” without even really looking into all the information about the particular game she called sexist. All of that, but she still didn’t deserve the threats and late night calls that she received. So many that she left her home to take refuge elsewhere.

Regardless of what is in video games, neither of these women deserved to be treated like that. No one, man or woman, deserves to be treated like that.

On the video game side: Yes, video games could use a little more dimension in the way they portray women. Yes, video games can sometimes seem sexists to some people. Yes, there is a conversation to be had. But let’s be honest about the portrayal of women in games vs. reality, shall we?  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2014 in Commentary

 

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Can being an author get you arrested?

Last night I was reading reddit and a new article came through. This time it stopped me in my tracks. A story about a fellow author who wrote a book and was then placed on leave for being “suspicious.” Others have mentioned he may have been arrested. They are definitely looking at charging him with something.

The facts, according to the article: He was a teacher at a middle school. He wrote two books under pen names. He published them on Amazon. The books were about “the largest school shooting in history.” Both works of fiction.

After reading it I posted the article to G+ and we had an interesting conversation that made me want to write a more in-depth blog post… so fair warning. It’s going to get deep around here.

Ever since 9/11, just 13 years ago, there have been many articles hitting the news about the over zealous “no tolerance” policies in our schools. Now, I will say that not all of it is due to 9/11. There was also Columbine, the Aurora theater shooting, and the recent school shootings in a few other states. We have had a lot more mass shootings, it seems, in the last decade then ever before.

Because of the no tolerance act we have now had:
A boy suspended for accidentally making his pop tart look like a gun.
A boy suspended for twirling a pencil.
7 year old yelled at for paper ‘gun’, then harassed and called a murderer by students.
A boy was suspended for having a PAPERCLIP in his pocket.

And there are TONS of examples where that came from.

What’s more interesting: The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) outlines “no tolerance polices” and has gone on record as saying: “Zero tolerance policies are complex, costly and generally ineffective.” They also say they cause racial discrimination, negative impact on education, high rate of repeat suspensions, and increase the drop out rate.

So… why not start suspending, or even arresting people who write books about school shootings. Never mind that you would need to arrest a lot of people who wrote similar books. Goodreads has a list of 39 books, all with school shootings in them.

It’s actually gotten a little scary here. With NSA watching everything we do, and news reporters suggesting police use water cannons on protesters, and everything else going on over in Ferguson at the moment, it’s feels like it is dangerous to be a citizen.

I spoke to a friend who lives in Europe and his view point of America at the moment is that it is one of the most dangerous places to live. That… that makes me sad, honestly. This use to be “the home of the free.” Is it now? I’m no longer sure.

I write what I write because it is what effects me. If I write about a school shooting it’s probably because I’m afraid one might happen to my children, not that I want to perpetrate one. If I write about a child that was abused it is because I was abused and I want others to know the signs of abuse so they can avoid it, not because I want to do it. If I write about murder, or nuclear bombs, or ghosts popping out of the grave to rip a persons head off.. it’s entertainment, it’s examination of things that effect society. The man who wrote Lolita wasn’t a child molester. VC Andrews didn’t have sex with her siblings. It’s writing.

1984, the thought police. Are we there yet? I hope not. But I don’t know anymore. I’m not proud of my country like I use to be either.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in News, On Writing

 

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“What’s on your mind?”

overflowing-closetEvery time I log into Facebook, which isn’t often, it greets me with that mantra. I very rarely answer on there because FB, for me, is less about broadcasting what’s going on in my life, or even keeping tabs on my friends, and more about communication. I will send messages to friends on there, or upload pictures sometimes, but otherwise want very little to do with it. I’d rather talk to friends about what is going on in my life then post it to facebook.

Our interaction with social media has become rather strange. Many people share pictures on Instagram, post what’s happening on Facebook, or share pictures of their food on tumblr, but have fewer actual conversations. But we call the people following us on those various platforms “friends”, and we get little boosts of serotonin every time we get hundreds of likes on a picture/post.

I admit that this is why I prefer Google plus. There are fewer personal posts. Images and information is usually about jobs, hobbies, or information on how to do something. I follow a lot of authors and geekdom so I get to see information about new blog posts, how to, news that’s going on in the world, and of course the geeky stuff I love like Firefly and Dr Who. It doesn’t call these people friends, unless you name the circle they are in “friends”, it calls them contacts. They can be business associates, fiends, people who love the same thing that you do, or any number of other things. It’s really good for networking. Not as good for posting random BS from your day to day life. Usually.

I suppose I’m terrible at social media. But I’m okay with that. Some things don’t need to be online. I mean really, do you need to know everything I eat, what I’m reading, and that I just got a root canal? Okay, maybe I could write a blog post about some of those things, and I probably will, but not every day of every moment.

“What’s on my mind?” Music, games, hopes, and dreams. Writing my books. Getting some sleep now that my tooth is healing. So many things, and many more tomorrow.

But I think I’ll only broadcast what I think others might be interested in.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Personal Notes

 

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Around the web

Some interesting articles you might enjoy.

John Green did an intro for Hannah Hart’s new Drunk Kitchen Cookbook. You can read it here.

George RR Martin talked about HBO catching up with him on the book series.

Why libraries are still better then Amazon. According to WSJ at least. (I tend to agree, though for other reasons then they give.)

Incredible photography of weaponry throughout the centuries.

25 authors that published great books before 25

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in On Writing

 

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