Last Friday, I woke up and decided that I was going to finish and publish the remainder of the Stone Sister Series. I wrote more that 4,000 words in one weekend, so I knew that was a sign that I needed to do this. If you haven't read Book One, you can buy it here. I started the series three years ago and released "Savannah" in 2018. I remember the way I felt when I wrote it. I felt inspired. But my inspiration, faded.
Writing is my side gig, not my primary source of income. When I saw I was taking a huge loss in profit, I put my stories to the side. Even though my stories were done, I began to question whether I should publish them. I started to be negative by assuming I would generate more expenses, so I decided to put my books on hold. Now, I realize I should've thought positive thoughts back then. I had to remember why I began to write. The reason I wrote was to express myself and inspire others.
But in those two years in writing less for me, I learned a lot through others. I attended writing groups and garnered clientele for my writing services. These past two years have taught me so much more about writing. Although I do prefer to do writing services, I'm ready to finish my stories as well.
I now know more than I did before and I'm willing to take that leap of faith to put my stories out there. I feel like I owe it to those who supported my work in the past. But most importantly as one of my author pals pointed out, I owe it to myself. I thank everyone for coming on this writing journey with me. I have more work to come, so stay tuned!
Hey, I'm just checking in with everybody. I hope you're doing okay. July has been a busy month for me. It's nearly over, but I still have things to do. Just a warning that this post may seem all over the place, but I just had to tell you all what's been happening!
With the busyness, has come lots of changes. For starters, Field Day Press is still up and running :-) I'm thankful to everyone for your continued support. Also, I appreciate my clients and the new editor position for a magazine I received from my fellow author. (I'll be talking about that opportunity at a later date, but if you're interested in the magazine, check this link here).
Around this time last year, I remember I was leaving one job to begin a new one. Now, that process continues. I'm starting a new job, and I feel like my creativity is back. So many opportunities have opened up, and I plan to take advantage of them. My schedule felt so constricted lately, but now I feel like I can finally open things up. I'm hoping I can give you all more updates. In the meanwhile, just keep writing!
PSA: During these times, I hope everyone keeps their "societal responsibility" to look out and care for each other. Do that writing project, but make sure you're not doing too much. Give people their six feet and remember masks on. Let's be safe, and get through this.
This post is slightly different from my others. Lately, I've been feeling down. I've ruled out the quarantine as a cause. I think my feelings have a lot to do with how those around me are coping with quarantine.
Naturally, I want everyone to be happy, even though I know that's not the case. My boyfriend doesn't seem to be coping that well with the quarantine, which is having an impact on us. Sometimes, I just find myself thinking this isn't how I wanted my quarantine to go.
But, I find joy that I have the power to control my life and shape things the way I want them to be. I am fortunate that I can work from home. I've been able to self-quarantine and adjust to my surroundings. Also, I have Field Day Press.
This week has been emotionally draining for me in my personal life and work life, but I'm thankful for resiliency. Not mention, I'm glad virtual therapy is an option during this pandemic. I thank everyone for their support of Field Day Press. Although I was feeling down, I'm not out. I'm still here. To all my writing friends, express yourself! Put your work out there. Keep writing and know that Field Day Press supports you.
I find people deal with the pandemic in different ways. I'm a non-essential employee. Not to mention, I'm a homebody. I'm thankful for the ability to telework and access most resources, like food and amenities, without leaving my home. Since quarantine, not much has changed in my schedule.
However, I know for some people a lot has changed. Essential employees are on the front line, so we can stay home. Students must deal with grade debates and delayed graduations. Zoom meetings have taken over the country to the point where psychologist dubbed the term "Zoom fatigue". Now, there's "Quarantine Fatigue". People are tired of lockdown. They want to venture out and loosen up social distancing. I don't think that's the right thing to do, but I understand. That's why I suggested the following to deal with quarantine fatigue:
These are just a few ways I believe can help you get over quarantine fatigue. I hope you're staying healthy. Also, remember that we will get through this.
You're probably looking at this picture and wondering what do these three ladies have in common? Well, they're all goddesses that I find fairly interesting. During this time, I think we should embrace things that inspire us. Also, I think it’s neat when writing ideas seem to come to people in an instant. It’s as if a person can look at something and BOOM! a story is born. What I find even more interesting is when people get inspired by random things.
Most of you may not know this, but I like mythology. When I was little, I remember going to my local library to borrow Greek mythology books. One of the first stories I read was “Cupid & Psyche”. My second favorite story is of “Persephone & Hades”. I can’t say I have a third favorite, so I’ll have to work on that. In my seventh grade English class, I aced a test we had about Greek mythology. I’m not sure why we had a test about Greek mythology, but it was fun nonetheless.
Now that I’m older, some of my mythology knowledge has faded, but I still try to brush up on it. My boyfriend also likes mythology. He’ll play videogames, including God of War and SMITE. (If you really like mythology I highly recommend SMITE. The game is a smorgasbord of different lores.)
One day I was feeling so inspired that I decided to write to the creators of SMITE. I gave them lore samples. The creators at SMITE responded to me and told me to keep sending them lores and they might possibly use them. I’ve yet to send them more content, but I admit it was fun to write in a different genre from my usual. Mythology randomly gave me inspiration to write.
I encourage you to seek inspiration. The most random thing you see may give you a book idea. Let your thoughts flow, and you may be pleasantly surprised with how much writing you’ll get done.
NOTE: Subscribers, check your inbox! This post came with exclusive content of the lore I sent to SMITE. You will get to read lore I wrote about the voodoo goddesses Ayida-Weddo and Maman Brigitte and Norse goddess Idun. If you haven’t subscribed, what are you waiting for? Subscribe now!
First off, I know what this post may look like. I can hear someone saying this in the background. Oh, here goes another rise and grind post. I promise you that’s not what this is…which also seems to be the line some people use when the situation is exactly what it is -_- I’ll just get right to it. While online, the following post from linktr.ee/itsadrianar stuck out to me. I have the post paraphrased below:
"If you don't come out of this quarantine with:
- new skills
- side hustles
- more knowledge
You didn't lack time. You lacked discipline. (Cross out those last two sentences). You are doing just fine. We are going through a collective traumatic experience. Not everyone has the privilege of turning a pandemic into something fun or productive.”
When I read the above, I couldn’t agree more. I think there’s this misconception that during this quarantine, we must be doing something. Also, I think some people automatically assume everyone has downtime. I would encourage those people to be more considerate, especially now. This pandemic is impacting us in unimaginable ways. That’s a lot to digest, which is why I think we should do what we can. I don’t believe in forcing anything and that applies to writing.
During this time, my brother coined the phrase #quarantinegoals. I laughed because it seemed weird to pair the quarantine with goals, but I liked it. My quarantine goals include self-care (i.e. hair and nails), debt management, and writing.
I believe now more than ever is the time to get writing. As you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking, Wait, didn’t you just say don’t force anything? Look, I know these are some weird, difficult times were undergoing, but I truly believe we will get through this. Honestly, I believe we’ll come out of it better than how we started. I’m claiming it! So, if you feel moved to write, then do so. If not, don’t feel pressured. The ideas will come. Just make sure you’re ready, so you can write them down to tell your story :-) In the meanwhile, stay safe and stay healthy.
Paradise Found is the end of the journey for Amelia. She’s endured a lot in her 16 ½ years that amounts to more than anything an adolescent should experience. Whereas the previous story centers on Amelia’s escape from her father, now Amelia is finally free. She has her family, her crush Gabrielle, and new beginnings with the civilization of Esoterica. Life should be looking up, but Amelia finds herself more confused.
Even though Amelia is free to do what she wants, she’s still a teenager, who’s trying to find herself. In this installment, Amelia’s feelings for Gabrielle flourish, but she’s unsure if her crush feels the same. Not to mention, the rest of the bunch at the apple farm at Esoterica isn’t what Amelia expected. Esoterica is supposed to be paradise, but it appears the place has some trouble. Amelia can’t handle it. Even though she is a teen, she does what anyone might do – run from her problems.
By this time, the story takes a slight turn as Amelia takes a road trip with some old friends to figure out what she wants in life. By the time the road trip is over, Amelia must decide.
Between chapters are interesting facts that relate to the changes happening in the novel. Sometimes these passages are long, but they can be informative. Some of the secondary characters’ physical descriptions and dialect are a bit bias, but because these characters are so minor their depictions can be overlooked.
This last book focuses more on sexuality, freedom, and new civilization. I think it’s a good conclusion to the series, but it did leave me wanting a little more.
Purchase Paradise Found here
With the author's permission, attached below is an interview about her novel Esoterica. I believe this interview conducted a few years ago will give readers a better understanding of the "Living in Secret" author Cristina Salat. You can purchase Esoterica here. Here's the interview below:
How did you come to write a sequel to LIVING IN SECRET?
Truthfully, I've always known what the next steps on Amelia's journey were...plus I really like these characters, and wanted to spend more time with them. It just took awhile for the rest of society to catch up enough for me to be able to do the next parts of the story justice!
Does ESOTERICA, or the novel that preceded it, come from your own life experience?
Yes and no. None of what any characters in any of my novels live are specifically experiences from my own life, however they are all real life things many people experience...and circumstances I care deeply about.
Characters from a different novel THE SKIN OF WATER: DEFENDING THE DREAMCATCHERS also appear in ESOTERICA. Was this intentional?
Actually, I had no idea Pipsqueak and later Missy from THE SKIN OF WATER were going to play a pivotal part in ESOTERICA...until all of a sudden they appeared. That is how the kind of writing I most enjoy goes for me though. I'll know the subject matter and main plot points when I sit down to begin birthing a novel, but then (unless I am under deadline) I just let the story take us where it wants and needs to go. Which means, just like for readers, there can be surprises for me too along the way.
How do readers respond to your somewhat unconventional work?
I'm delighted that reviews and mail I've received over the years are generally characterized by comments like: "(this book) became my favourite book for about 2 years and I read it 3 times after that. I loved it every time. It's such a truthful and organic story and it's what first introduced me to the brutality and reality of the world -gay and everythang! *warning - very emotional ending* but I think it's something everyone should read at least once in their life perhaps best in the teenage years but great either way." I used to often feel ahead of the curve with things like civil rights for all and the fact that no parent or family member should ever be raping their young relatives — which seemed blatantly obvious to me — still considered "cutting edge" or "controversial" by society at large. It was mighty frustrating sometimes, when agents and publishers wanted me to tone down the parts of my work that felt viscerally important to exactly the stories I was trying to tell. But these days — as each new generation arrives on Planet Earth and sets a new tone regarding what's important to them — it seems as if more and more people, especially young people, are interested in things like tolerance and change and creating a more peaceful, fair sense of community, locally and worldwide, for everyone. Yay. I guess I was just a millennial ahead of my time! ;)
ESOTERICA ends with a new set of adventures Amelia could choose between. Will there be a sequel to this sequel?!
Yes! Believe it or not, when I began writing the "end" to this character's first (LIVING IN SECRET) story, after having gotten requests to know "what happened?!" for years, I was thinking in terms of perhaps just offering an epilogue to the original story. After all, by 2015 gay people were legally able to marry, which meant that aspect of custody battles was no longer as fraught with drama as it had once been...so perhaps I would just give the characters the happy ending they so richly deserved? On the other hand, right from the first draft of Amelia's initial tale, I was aware of other paths the realities of parental kidnapping and custody issues go down...so I knew a whole second book about that was possible. And when I sat down to write, that is what poured out. Not an epilogue. A full second book. A sequel. And in the midst of writing that, the inklings of yet a third novel — i.e. what happens after where ESOTERICA leaves off — started coming through. So yes, the sequel to the sequel — entitled PARADISE FOUND — has just flowed from my pen: https://www.amazon.com/ParadiseFound-Gathering-Dreamcatchers-Novelebook/dp/B07DS7FGVZ/ Readers who enjoyed seeing what became of characters from the San FranciscoNew Mexico novel THE SKIN OF WATER will be happy to hear some special individuals from that novel were apparently meant to show up in this newest 'Dreamcatcher' novel too. And actually, since this collection of books aren't all 'sequels' per se, these days I'm just calling them: 'Gathering The Dreamcatchers' companion novels.
Stay tuned! :)
If you want a captivating mystery story, you need some tips from the experts, so here are a few. Although you may have your original story and you’re eager to tell it, read some of your favorite mystery novels to discover how to do mystery right. Learning from the best in your field gives you a chance to be better than them. Remember you need a short, punchy idea to attract any reader and make them dive into the story. The killer hook should come early and cause a dilemma. Begin with a striking incident and then build the tension. Let the tension be consistent in every scene.
Maybe I’ve been watching too many Hallmark channel movies, but I’ve thought about writing romance. Sometimes, I think it’s an easy genre, but then I remember all the effort that must go into making the main characters likable. No one’s going to root for a weak lead character. So, I figured why not offer some tips on how to write romance?
If you are going to write about romance, remember that every story should prompt readers to rally behind characters of their choice. It is one of the most important elements of a romance story because emotions drive the plot in the writing. Some more tips for your writing include:
Create flexible characters who will build up through the story
Roxanne Ridge writes for the youth. Not to mention, writing is peaceful.