31 March 2014

Another Kind of Doomsday

Today's doomsday is a lot scarier than the one I had last week. Today my staycation is over and I have to go back to work.

It was not nearly as successful as I thought it would be. The week seemed to fly by. I did get three chapter edits done, but that's pretty much it. No agent research, no working on a resume or query letter. No A to Z posts written. I wanted to get so much more done, but it just didn't happen.

So yes, I'm starting the A to Z challenge tomorrow without a single post written ahead of time. I know how horrible this is. But I've also been a procrastinator all my life, so it should turn out ok. Hopefully I'll be able to get some posts done in my free time instead of writing them all daily. That could be a disaster.

Some kinda sorta good news--I went over my bills and figured out how much money I need every month, and based on my savings right now, I could survive 13 months without a job. This is good because it's a lot more than I thought it would be. I was really only planning on being jobless for 3 to 4 months at the most. So I'm thinking that this plan could work out. There are a lot of things I have to do before I put in my notice at work, though, but I want to get them done as soon as possible. I've really wasted enough of my life at this job already.

Oh wow, is this the most depressing day ever? I think I'm making the right decision, but I do want to finish my second draft first. That way I'd be in a good place with my writing and honestly, I want to get reactions from the people I work with who are reading it.

Well, I suppose it's almost time to get ready for work. Boo hiss.

26 March 2014


Just popping in real quick today. I know I haven't blogged in forever. I also haven't written in forever. But today is DOOMSDAY and I must spend the whole day writing. 

Oh, it's not nearly as bad as I make it sound. It was just another one of those deadlines I set for myself forever ago that I once again didn't meet. But it's also the sort of thing that will hopefully kick me in the butt. 

It's also the third day of my staycation and I have gotten nothing done yet! It's ok, though. Monday was my fiance's birthday and yesterday was my laundry/errand day. So now it's writing time! I also really really need to plan some A to Z Challenge posts. I haven't thought of a theme yet so I'm thinking I probably won't have one, but obviously every post will be about writing. 

But since it's DOOMSDAY I will be working on the second draft today. All day. That's it. So...off I go! 

10 March 2014

Surrender the Sky Cover Reveal

I'm stepping one toe out of my comfort zone and helping a fellow writer reveal her cover! Isn't it gorgeous?? Congrats, Meradeth!

The third book in the Sary Society series, SURRENDER THE SKY, has a shiny new cover!

Release Date: May, 2014


Gabby lives by two unbreakable rules: don’t expose her kind, the Sary, and don’t fall in love—too bad some rules are made to be broken.

When Gabby’s most difficult charge accidentally shoots her in front of a class full of students, the event exposes her carefully hidden identity. She shifts from looking like a normal teen to her secret Sary form, revealing her wings and the existence of her kind—immortals who try to keep people from committing suicide. Her incident attracts the attention of the next leader of the Sary, Jassen, who offers her an impossible bargain: she can keep her wings if she makes amends with those who know the truth. Things get more complicated when a rebel Sary, intent on exposing them to the world, starts interfering with Gabby’s work. And there’s no denying her attraction to Jassen, who is torn between his duties and his heart. With threats at every turn and her immortality on the line, Gabby has to find a way to save the Sary or surrender the sky forever.

Surrender the Sky is a stand alone title that follows COLORS LIKE MEMORIES and THE CHEMISTRY OF FATE, with cameos from several of the characters in the first books! It will be available in May wherever ebooks are sold!

Join in the celebration for a $10 Amazon gift card! Use the rafflecopter below for entries :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find Meradeth Houston online at: www.MeradethHouston.com
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and of course her blog!

07 March 2014

Step by Step

Thanks to everyone who stopped by on Wednesday and left me their thoughts. I really appreciate it. I think I got some good advice that I'll definitely take into consideration. This certainly isn't a decision I can jump into headfirst. It's going to take some time and a lot of planning. So I came to a realization this morning that was actually really amusing.

The people I should really be taking advice from are the characters in my book.

I know, I know, sounds crazy. But it was kind of staring me in the face the whole time. Early on in the book, Jordan compares figuring out their relationship to a math problem the two are working on. "Step by step, right?"

Anyway, I could go on for days describing my characters and how their relationship relates to my thought process right now, but I'll skip ahead. The first thing I have to do is plan. Lots and lots of planning. I have to make a list of the things I want to get done before I even put in my notice at work--pay off my credit card, figure out how much money I spend on bills each month, get my savings up to a certain amount. I also really want to finish my second draft before leaving my job because a lot of my coworkers are reading it and I just really want to get some responses in person. Can't help myself, really. And if I can get my book query ready by the end of my staycation this month, I'll be in a better position than I am now.

This whole thing is going to be a long, step by step process. I'll want to create my non-working daily schedule, map out every single goal I have in mind. But I honestly think that it's going to happen within the next few months. Best case scenario, my book gets published and I earn enough to not work (I can dream, ok?). Second best, I get my resume done and find a job that I actually like, or get into freelancing so I can work from home. There's plenty of possibilities that are all better than the situation I'm in now.

We'll see how it goes. For now I just have to take it one step at a time.

05 March 2014

Job Insecurity

It's that time again! The first Wednesday of every month is the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Click the link to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog and learn more!

First Wed of Every Month

I had an interesting day on Friday. I spent the morning writing a blog post which I was really excited about, then spent the rest of the day visiting other blogs and getting another chapter edited before sending it out to my readers. One reader got through the chapter right away and even quoted it on his Facebook. I had work at 5 and I was in such a good mood that I couldn't stop smiling. But then, of course, I was at work. It didn't take long for the smile to vanish. I realized that this is a pretty accurate representation of my life at this point.

When I first started at my job almost three years ago, I was in a tight spot. The place I had worked at closed the day before my college graduation. I had no job and needed to quickly find a place to live as well. I was desperate. So when I applied and was told to come back for an interview, I was just glad to get anything. Since I hadn't quite figured out what sort of career I wanted, I thought this would be a good job to have while I finished my novel and figured things out.

Well, that was a long time ago. If you've been to this blog often, you know how long it took me to get the first draft of my novel done. And if I really admit it, my job is at least partially to blame for that. I have an erratic schedule that's never the same week to week. When I work days, I'm usually too tired afterwards to get anything done. When I work nights, I spend the whole day dreading going in. Honestly, this job had the opposite results of what I originally thought. It kept me, and still keeps me, from getting what I need to get done.

I've been thinking about it for a while now, and the more I consider it, the more of a good idea it seems. I've considered finding another job, but I don't know what sort of career I want if writing books doesn't work as quickly as I'd like. I don't want a lateral move--a job that has nothing to do with what I care about or went to college for. And after almost three years and several raises, I would probably be forced to take a pay cut if I changed to another random job. That's part of why I've stayed at my job for so long. I've always been a hard worker, as well, and am in a slight position of authority/importance. I know if I left my job I'd be letting a lot of people down.

But there comes a point where I have to think about myself. My job makes me miserable. It's not what I want and honestly, I've put up with it for far too long. But what I'm thinking about doing is not getting a new job. It's having no job at all, at least for a few months. I have enough money saved to cover bills for quite some time, although I am concerned with eating up my savings. It may be necessary for my sanity, though. What I want to do is take a few months to focus completely on writing. Finish my book, get queries out, spend more time blogging and networking. I could also search for freelance jobs or even a full time career that's related to writing or publishing. I mean, I don't even have a resume, because I never have time to sit down and do that sort of thing. If all of my time could be focused on writing, it wouldn't be like it is now, just getting whatever I can done in my little free time. I could make a schedule for myself, work on specific things every day, have goals in mind.

I'm not really sure what exactly I want to do yet. I know I have to give it a lot more thought before I take any action, talk to different people, and have things mapped out. It could take a few months just to get to the point where I can quit my job. I'm definitely open to some advice here. But the thought of it isn't all that scary. It's exciting. Which leads me to believe it's the right thing to do.

03 March 2014

Jordan Takes Over: Just Calm Down Already

**The first Monday of the month, I let my muse take over the blog. I apologize in advance.**

You writers can be so uptight. I mean, seriously, one second you're off on some creative binge, and the next you're all, "this crap is never going to amount to anything!" I've just got one thing to say about that: cool it! Just fucking cool it!

Look at it from my perspective. I'm not exactly the commitment type, but Sarah and I have been together for three effing years. That's longer than all of my relationships combined. And trust me, I would not stick around for nothing.

But this post isn't about trusting your muse--I'm sure I've said that all before (or have I? I don't remember...). This is about anxiety. Oh, what's that? You don't get anxiety? Are you a writer? Oh, well in that case...LIAR! It's not just about nerves--every time you tell yourself that you're no good, that's anxiety. You're too worried about spending all this time working on your writing and having it never amount to anything. But you're looking at it the wrong way. So what if it's crap? Everything starts out as crap. No one is brilliant on the first try (No, not even me. But I'm talking like, when I write songs. Not *ahem* other skills...). The point is that you have at least a scrap of a good idea underneath all the shit, and that you understand what needs to be fixed.

You're really just looking at anxiety the wrong way. I think anxiety is awesome. I mean, come on, it makes your heart pound, puts you on the edge. It's something raw and visceral. If you focus too much on this "woe is me" bullshit, then you're gonna lose the whole experience. Think about what being anxious is actually doing for you. If you just walked around thinking you were perfect all the time (hey, shut up, this isn't about me), how could you ever find the flaws in your work? You'll just think it's wonderful and send it out thinking you'll be some overnight star. And then what happens? Well, you get rejections, and you have no idea why. Because you're so goddamn perfect, right?

See the problem? In the long run, a little anxiety can be good for you. That doesn't mean you should be consumed by it. Trust me, I've been with a few guys who were all, "I'm terrible, I'm nothing, I'm doomed to hell just for existing." It gets annoying after a while. Plus, they were usually the nicest, sweetest people you could imagine.

So for fuck's sake, stop being so hard on yourself. And just calm down already.