Wednesday, July 30, 2014


What do you do when you feel like you could keep running forever?

Why, keep on running, until you can't anymore!

Right after I finished writing Roaring Boys, I was as high on the mountain as you can possibly imagine. I had just written two books -- Shifted was the precursor to this entire adventure, the first full-length book I had written in a long time and the first book I had self-published in my writing career -- in the space of a year and a half, after spending a long, dry four years without much creative productivity at all. It was the best feeling ever, that creative genius burning away, and I didn't want it to end.

So, I started on the next one. I wasn't even done with the final edits of Roaring Boys, I hadn't even uploaded it for publication, and yet I had already begun the idea, major research, outlining, and character development of my new book.

Now, less than a week after Roaring Boys came out on all platforms, I have four chapters of my new book written.

Another one by Christmas? Challenge accepted!

I don't know how long this momentum will last. Surely I cannot keep the stories flowing, the energy levels up, and the diligence steady -- all the things it takes to write a single novel, much less two in 18 months, or three in two years. I must hit a wall at some point. I will inevitably need a break, a vacation from words.

But I can tell you right now, that time is not yet upon me, and I'm going to keep writing until I simply cannot any longer.

Will that be five months down the road? Five years? Fifty?

Either way, I can tell you this for certain, that no matter how long this bizarre energy remains with me, any hiatus from it that I take will certainly not last. I live to write, I love to write, and I will keep writing until I'm so stooped over my keyboard that I can barely see the screen.

You should never stop writing just because your brain tells you that you think you should. Take a break after each book, it says, don't burn yourself out.

Ridiculous! If you have another book in you, get going! If you have more ideas, more stories, keep them flowing out until every inch of you says you need to rest. Don't rein yourself in because you think that's what you're supposed to do. Because the longer you keep writing in one, continuous, unbroken stretch, the faster and better you will improve. Each book I have written so far has been better and better than the last, and my beta readers, looking at the next one I am working on, are already saying that it's better than all the others. I want to keep honing my skill, keep growing my writing style. And this is the road to success by sheer, ridiculous momentum!

There are hundreds of books in me, ladies and gentlemen, and I want to see them all come to the light of day.

Keep your eyes peeled for news and updates of my next book, which will surely be upon us very soon.

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's Finally Here

You Guys

Roaring Boys is officially for sale, as of today.

I'm just about to bounce out of my seat with excitement!!

The print version will be available next week, once I approve the physical proof -- which, after looking at the digital proof, I'm pretty sure will be about as difficult as clicking "YES YES YES".

If that wasn't enough, Shifted just got an amazing review on!!
"Like Tolkien or Lewis, [Mitchell] has a well-defined world in which to set stories...her mastery of the period makes it effortless to accept that the people of the time still believe in the Old Ways...the story flows well, and I found myself going to bed quite sensibly, and then having to get back up to finish a chapter."
I'm just about beside myself right now. Standing beside myself. Rolling around on the ground beside myself.

And I can't wait to go home and take my shoes off!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Brain is a Powerful Thing

Also, the human head weights 8 pounds...

Give or take. I do suppose it depends on the person in question. Diameter of skull and bone thickness, and all that. I do know that you have a "smarter brain" if it's more wrinkly. Does that add to overall mass, and thus weight?


It is interesting, though, to consider the different ways people absorb information. Scholarly organizations have to think about this because they try to understand how their customers -- students -- are receiving the product -- education -- that they are paying for. One could argue that certain educational organizations don't do this enough, but that's a different rant for a different day. But you see various means of delivering said information, based on auditory (sound), visual (sight), and kinesthetic (touch).

Publishing is no different. With the technological age advancing around us, one of the ways publishing in general has had to evolve regards eTechnology -- eBooks, eReaders, ePublishing, eAdvertizing. eTc.

The first way publishing had to handle this strange new form of publishing was to rewrite, literally, the way it handled the basics of publication. There is a whole new form of reading that can be done now on a device that fits in your hand, and from that spirals all sorts of new niches -- design, advertising, layout, sales, rights, overseas rights, production, art, etc. Every aspect of publishing that exists was touched by this new form of delivering the written word.

And something that now has to be considered, as we come down from the first blast into the atmosphere that was the peak of ePublishing, is fine tuning. Now we have the time, the experience, and the energy to consider the little details beyond the bulk of eReading.

One of those details has to do entirely with personal brain activity -- and yet again we find the argument of Ebooks against the physical book. Personal preference does come into it -- I myself don't like eReading because it hurts my eyes, and I love the feel of a book, the smell of a book, and the pure physicality of a book that an eBook just can't match.

However, there is more to this preference that goes straight to the brain. Julian Baggini writes about this, asking "Which do our brains prefer? Research is forcing us to rethink how we respond to the written word."

No doubt eReaders have made the portability of reading far simpler. I used to pack 6-7 books with me when I went on vacation, taking up space in my suitcase and adding a good 10 pounds to whatever I was carrying. I still tend to carry a book in my purse at all times. Yet this has been solved and resolved for many by the presence of an eReader, which allows one to carry around a nearly unlimited amount of books (depending on your storage size) all contained within a small, lightweight platform.

Baggini then begs the question, is the difference between physical book and eBook anything more than the decision between "cost and convenience?"

She goes on to answer her own question, stating that the answer, "suggested by numerous studies into the neuroscience and psychology of reading in different formats is an emphatic yes."

EBooks and eReaders have risen in the ranks in the past several years. This sudden burst of interest worried many publishers and book-traditionalists with the "death of the book," the "death of reading," and the "death of publishing." However, several studies (short-term studies, to be sure, since the innovation is still so new as well) have proven this not to be the case. If anything, eBooks have promoted reading, especially in the younger generations who respond more easily to technological advancements in the first place. In my own study on this subject I came to the conclusion that eBooks will have negative and positive affects on reading overall -- and, in the end, will balance out to normalcy. Baggini agrees with this, stating that "Overall, there doesn't seem to be any convincing evidence that reading on screen or paper is better per se."

Less important is the question of how eBooks are affecting overall reading and when compared with the question of how it is redefining "what it means to read."

Apparently eBooks have different effects on people when it comes to deep reading, which is when you lose yourself to a text entirely -- I have a tendency to do this to such a degree that when I finally pull myself from a book, I feel as if I have been asleep all that time. I do not hear or perceive my outward surroundings and have been known to be left behind by a group without even noticing their absence. -- and active learning, which is when you are engaging with what you are reading by taking notes or looking up words and cross-referencing other texts. For me, this is the difference between reading fiction and non-fiction.

Arguments arise that the distractions of eReaders (with their hyperlinks and their ability to hop on the internet or, in some cases, answer the phone) will take away from deep reading. But in other cases is facilitates active learning by putting the wealth of the knowledge on the internet right next to the text at hand. Some forms of eBook are better for deep reading via eReader because they prevent skipping around to other section of the book easily, whereas with a print book you can merely flip a few pages to see what happens next.

Another study told of how "electronic devices promoted more deep reading and less active learning" because students, in particular, were more focused on the device than they might on a book, and yet eReaders make rereading more difficult than sticking a finger in at a section you want to go back to and simply flipping back through the pages.

In any case, all of these studies merely collide to prove that individual preference, readability, and learning style have a lot to say about our selection between eBook and print book. Baggini yet again states that "whatever the case, our habits have probably been created largely as combination of childhood experience and how the medium we read is nudging us." This would explain why the younger generation, which has never known a time without the internet or cell phones or high-speed cross-platform technology, adapts better the the technological form of reading, while those of us who were raised either pre-internet or at the very cusp of the innovations of the internet still prefer having a page or two to dog-ear or the physical heft of a book in our hands.

I still prefer my physical books, and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. I'll have that suitcase full of hardcovers and that paperback stuffed in my purse. What can I say? I'm a traditional print gal.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

EBooks and Paper again...Good Thing We Have Both!

Welcome back, everyone!

Weekly posts at Maudlin's Shoes will begin again!

Roaring Boys is officially "done" -- which essentially means there are a few last minute tweaks going on from the editor -- and then after that it will be uploaded for sale. You can get details here or on my Facebook page. Stay tuned and don't miss it! We'll have it on, Kindle, and Nook.

**Roaring Boys will be available for purchase soon! Until then, check out this promo.**

And if you haven't already, check out my novel Shifted, available on all of these platforms. Shifted was the first book that got me back on the writing horse, officially, and was the first book I self-published.

**Shifted is available on, Kindle, Barnes & Noble online, and Nook!**

You know the amazing thing about writing? It's kind of like eating Doritos. You can never have just one. After I wrote Shifted, I took about a three month hiatus to work on publication materials and getting it ready. And then I was off again with Roaring Boys.

Now, merely a week after finishing the writing of Roaring Boys -- note, I haven't even finished the publication process yet!! -- I'm already churning up a new idea. I have the title, the tale, the main outline, the research, and most of the chapters organized. Maybe about 5 chapters are still blank, waiting to be detailed. Heck, I'm ready to start writing again!

**Can you guess what story I'm going to do next?**

I would never have thought this possible a few years ago. A few years ago I was burnt out. I was barely writing at all and I wasn't reading for fun much. I was nose-to-the-grindstone, working hard to finish my degree and try to land on my feet. And all I ever got told was how I'd have even less free time as a working adult. So bye bye dreams.

You know what? Everything anyone ever told me about losing my dreams when I was in college was dead wrong.

I got told I should give up on my dream of the publishing-editing world. I was told I would never have any free time to pursue my hobbies and turn them into something more. I was told I should practice my "do you want fries with that" line.

**this should not be the first thing I find when writer and fries are typed together. Just saying.**

And now here I am, sitting on my dream job right out of college, editing, working in the publishing industry, in my dream town, and I've just finished two books. I'm starting on the next one right now.

Yes, I am way busier than I have ever been. I've worked harder than I ever thought possible to get where I am. But I also get to go and do things way more than I ever did in the last ten years. I am writing more and more consistently than I ever have since I first started writing. Am I exhausted sometimes? Yes. But it's a powerful, wonderful, amazing exhausted. Not the exhausted that comes from going directly home after work and sitting in front of the television. The exhausted that comes from filling every moment of every day with something that is exciting and motivational and fulfilling. No matter what that is -- whether going to concerts, going to the gym, attending church, reading, writing, painting, visiting the beach, doing trivia night with my family, watching movies -- I try and never, ever say "not tonight, I'm too tired" because I have plenty of nights I can just vegitate. And I don't want to miss out on a single thing.

Including writing. I have a thousand books in me, waiting to get out. I don't want to waste time dithering!! I want to write them all, and when I'm 99 years old, I'll still be writing, you can believe it!

**Never let anyone tell you you're not a real writer if you're not J.K. Rowling. 
Some writers make millions. Some writers just write. And they're both valid positions.**

Give up on my dreams? Not a chance! I'm now in the time of my life when my dreams are closer to my reach than ever before. And I'm going to take them.

My parents always encouraged me to pursue writing, even though they cautioned me that it would be more difficult than a job in something more "practical". I always tried to take their advice and blend practicality with my own desires. Instead of majoring in Creative Writing, I majored in English (start the English major jokes now). I started working on my job-hunt when I was a sophomore in college and I worked every year and summer after that. And now I am where I want to be in my life at the ripe old age of 23.

Does this happen to everyone? No. I've been incredibly blessed, and I am grateful that I have the ability to see that. But neither is it impossible. I'm proof of that.

So who wants fries with that?