A Month of Tears. A Month of Happiness.

The end of November is a fearful day for NaNoWriMoers. These writers are finger cramped, shoulder achy, and brains are pulled like taffy. The 30th of November is a time to cheer and/or a time to cry. They have to write a novel in a month. That’s 50, 000 words!

Here’s how it happens:
National Novel Writing Month…November.
Goal: Write 50, 000 words in a month.

November 1st: Writers at the ready? On your marks, get set…GO!
November 3rd: Thinking everything’s fine. A little behind, but that’s alright.
The first Saturday: Turn off the phone, ignore people that live in the house…write like the end of the month is tomorrow.
Sunday…day off. Saturday took all the writing ability out leaving fingers and arms like wet noodles. 3,000 words over the target. Do’in alright.
This lasts until the next Saturday.
November 11th: Take the day off for Remembrance Day (Canadian Holiday) Push writing aside, only a few thousand words off of the goal…
November 18…another Saturday…when did that happen? Oh! No! No…no…no! Write with fingers on fire. Nothing makes sense but it’s words, that’s all it needs is words…right!
Four sleepless nights, 79 pots of coffee, 13 bags of chips, and 2-3 missed showers later. Finally back on track.
November 25: The last Saturday of the month. Sleep becomes a distant memory. Could cry tears of coffee. Might turn in to a potato chip…when is the last time a real meal was eaten? What’s that smell?
November 30: Finally did it. A winner! A winner! Pumps arms in the air. The smell knocks out the dog and cat from the stink, but it’s okay. A NaNoWriMo Winner!

I’ve devoted 4 years to National Novel Writing Month. I won all four times, although I deleted last years win from the website. That’s how badly I pushed myself. The whole thing was a mess.
This year I aimed higher than the 50, 000 because I had won each year I’d competed. This year I aimed for 60, 000 finishing with 62, 000. I was quite proud of myself for getting there. I did, however, avoid all contact with the world outside of my own imaginary one. I did shower, go to work, and eat regular meals. Other years…well, not so much.

What National Novel Writing Month has taught me:
I’ve learned that I can write a novel in two months. Why it takes me until November every year to complete my novel is due to the goal. I need to start setting personal goals, as well as keep to those goals. Without them, I don’t think I’d get anything done. This is something I am going to strive for in 2018. I will start setting personal goals. Who knows maybe in November 2018 I will be working on a whole new trilogy.

Cheers,
C. B. Dixon

To All Those Writers in NaNoWriMo,
I know that you tried your hardest. The month is a hard adventure that can take you to some strange places; physically and mentally. Remeber on all the good times; laughs you might have shared with your characters, writing buddies, or things that happened to you while you were writing. Remember all the friends you might have met online as you posted for help, shared stories, or Instagrammed a picture. Reflect on all the fumbles, mistakes, and blocks that you might have had. How did you get past all of it? Did you grow stronger as a writer because of it?

To Those Who Didn’t Make the 50k,
Life can get in the way of many things. You put yourself out there, you tried. Great job! It’s hard to write a novel in a month. I hope to see you next year, and the year after that, and then the year after that.

To Those Who Won,
Congratulations! Your back must be sore. Go relax with a nice cup of something other than coffee/tea. Maybe a bottle of rum? See you next year!

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and ebook.
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
Barns and Noble 

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Reply to Cheyanne’s Book Review

I didn’t expect to be linked to a book review when I clicked onto my Twitter app yesterday afternoon. I was floored since I always had to ask to get my book reveiwed. Being a first-time author is hard work. I want to get my book out there and seen without rubbing the cover into peoples faces saying, “Here! Here! I wrote a book! See!”

This shock got even better as I read through her review. I have an idea about where my strengths and weaknesses are in writing, but it’s nice to hear them from someone else that has a better understanding then I do. I am always looking to improve my craft. Without constructive criticism how will I ever know where I need to focus my attention.

WSA

**The clips that I have in bold below are from Cheyanne Lepka’s Blog.**

“Even though I found this book had a slow start, there’s a lot to love about it. The brilliant description and unique world/story definitely stick out in my mind.”

That slow start… Somehow I missed this when I was in the revision stage I had read the manuscript over and over. I ‘ve focused my attention on this issue for Mortal Soul Ascension.  I hope that book two will kickstart on the first note.

“Unique world – Now I normally read straight fantasy and this is arguably horror-fantasy but the world that I was presented with is both vivid and a little disturbing (I mean this as a compliment!)…”

Complement accepted!

“Instead of the same stock images that fantasy often conjures up I was presented with a world that is both unique and richly imagined. Moreover, it’s presented in such a way that the world isn’t overpowering to the story nor is it flat and undeveloped.”

Is it okay to be in love with the world I created? I know that it’s a bit, umm, well… brutal. I couldn’t stop thinking up more and more detail. The world was inspired by nightmares that I had as a child. I wonder if that had something to play in the world building.

“Vivid detail – As part of the unique world, we’re exposed to some incredibly vivid scenes. The detail was done so well that even a couple weeks after reading the book my imagination conjures up various scenes. My favourite part is that it is so subtly described that I’m not entirely convinced that she wasn’t injecting images straight into my brain (seriously, you have to tell me if this is what you were doing!).”

The vivid and subtle description was purposeful. Every time I wrote a scene I would lean back and feel it play all around me. What does it smell/sound/taste/appear/feel like where I am? I tried to activate all senses without being wordy. I even did this for the darker scenes. It makes me happy to hear that my world has imprinted on you.

Dialogue – I’ll be honest the dialogue was my least favourite part of the book. Either the characters sounded all like each other or they were way over the top (looking at you Hope). It improves throughout the book to the point where it hardly bothered me at the end, so I’m hoping that it’s a kink that’s already been ironed out.

Ah, yes, my dreaded time with dialogue. This is something that I have to put most of my attention in. I’ve been striving to make this better. I’m glad to hear that it got better throughout the story. Thank you for letting me know that my studying wasn’t for nothing and that I did manage to learn something as Wicked was being written.

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Thank you Cheyanne for giving me a suprise book review. I had no idea this was about to happen. This was the best thing to open today. I am really greatful for the knowledge that you have shared with me. I will work on becoming better and expanding my craft.

Cheers,

C.B. Dixon

 

If you would like to read the origanal post please visit: Cheyannealepka.com

Wicked Soul Ascension is available in paperback and eBook:
Chapters, Indigo, Coles
Amazon
Barns and Noble

Music and The Writer

I was a young child setting up dance routines to the soundtrack of The Labyrinth with my cousins, or singing made up songs on the trampoline. My poor parents had to deal with this tone-deaf child that couldn’t keep a beat. No matter how bad it was, I loved doing it.
I lost interest in music when I got older. I liked it as background music, but I would never turn it on to clean or just sing-a-long. I hit a strange phase as a teenager.

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Fast forward to 2017. I still can’t keep a beat. I can never remember the words, but I sing-a-long anyway. And…cleaning without music! Hello! I’m sure that’s a sin!
For my first novel, Wicked Soul Ascension, I only listened to music to distract me from the other noises in the coffeeshops where I wrote. I lived with roommates at the time, and most of the time they were great. I had my writing times, but my desk was in the living room for a while. I kept pushing writing for another time. The room was always too busy.
It was during this time that I refound my love for music. Listening to songs with lyrics was hard. I ended up writing in some of the words into the manuscript my accident. I had a hard time editing that out. So, I listened to classical music. Violin, cello, and acoustic guitar became my favourites. I branched into other types of music from there.
After I published Wicked Soul Ascension I had dug my claws into 50’s, punk, classic rock, and pop. I had grown up with classic rock from my dad and pop from my mom. I found my love of strange music all on my own.
I now have Spotify. I didn’t think my music collection could get more strange. I have a playlist I listen to as my characters are getting through their day by day, one for when they’re in battle, and another to add that eerie effect.

I’m glad that music found me again. It was meant to be. I find that music makes me a better writer. The music seems to pull my imagination out of its dark corner so I can see it in full view. There are still thousands of songs that I haven’t heard that I was meant to hear. Just as there are thousands of stories within me ready to be told.

Here are some of the songs I listen to almost daily. It’s always changing and growing. That’s the joy of discovery.

Old Favourites:
Misunderstood by P!nk
Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked by Cage The Elephant
Joker And The Thief by Wolfmother

Random favourites:
Chasing Ghosts by Against The Current
Human by Rag’n’Bone Man
The Devil’s Bleeding Crown By Volbeat
Places We Were Made By Maisie Perers

My music doesn’t really have walls. I don’t listen to one thing. I pick out the books I read the same way. It’s like my brain has no borders when it comes to liking something. I rather like whatever (music, books, coffee) for how it makes me feel instead it’s label/brand.

What is your favourite song? Do you find music motivating?

Cheers,
C.B. Dixon

(I will keep howling out my favourite songs when I think no one is listening. My poor dear husband.)

Check out my novel: Wicked Soul Ascension 

Writer by Night

Jumping back into the swing of things has never felt so good. Like a drink of fresh cool water, this week has started off leaving me feeling awesome. Last night’s writing session didn’t really go as planned. I only typed out a few words. I’ve come to realize that I can’t win every time I sit down to type.

I have found a rhythm that has worked for my writing and other daily activities. I love to swim laps at the pool and go out on hikes. Writing at night has become a great way to unwind from the day. I am able to work on Mortal Soul Ascension after dinner until it’s bedtime. While I sleep I dream up new events and my characters get more defined in their personalities. This system has been working. I hope that I will be able to stick with it and get this first draft over and done with.

Self-edits and revisions have become my favourite parts of writing. I hated it the first time I did it. And now, I enjoy sitting down with my manuscript to change it from a jumble of ideas into a readable story for all to enjoy. I can’t wait until Mortal Soul Ascension is at this point. Novemeber is ever creeping closer.

Wicked Soul Ascension will always have a place in my heart. My first book that got me to where I am today. Since I wrote it I have become a stronger writer that is letting everyday strengthen my craft. I am taking what I learnt from that experence and applying it to where I am going from here.

Happy reading!
C.B. Dixon

 

If you’d like to get a free preview of Wicked Soul Ascension click the link below.

The Writer and Her Subconscious​

This morning I woke up writing. I was half asleep with the idea that I was at my desk typing out The Dreamer. I was halfway through writing it out when I realized I was sitting on the edge of my bed attempting to find my glasses.
Once I got myself together; dressed, glasses on, and alarm shut off. I wobbled to my computer to actually write it. I don’t recall what I was dreaming about, but I knew that I had to write a letter to my dreams. I hit snooze for my first alarm. And that’s when my subconscious started writing. It was around my third time pressing snooze that I sat up. Around fourth or fifth alarm when it clicked that I wasn’t at my computer.

My sister, who was a delight and made me breakfast, watched as I sleepily poured myself a coffee with far to much honey and plopped myself in front of my computer to type out this letter.

There’s something about writing what the subconscious wants you to. I know I am missing fragments that would have made it better. There was this thing about the clouds and how the dreams would type the story onto the computer or save as a video for me to rewrite later. I can’t remember. It’s lost in that realm of sleep that stores all the hopes and wonder that is buried within my brain. I hope that the longer I write, the more I write, I might be able to unlock that hidden world.

If I only had the key.

Cheers,
C.B. Dixon

Wicked Soul Ascension Book One

The Dreamer

Dear Dreams,

Thank you for all the great adventures we’ve been having lately. I especially loved the one where we fought zombies while riding on dragons back. And then that time we got lost in a haunted labyrinth was pretty epic.

I have one thing to ask of you. Please, write your stories down. I will even leave my laptop open on the bedside table so you don’t have to reach far. I can leave the word program open. It would be nice.
I only ask this because you seem to remove most of the memory of the journey we endure together. I can’t remember how they start or end. The feeling of, what a trip! Vibrates under my skin all morning.

Your Dearest Friend,
The Dreamer
C.B. Dixon

Ps. The world would love to go on the same adventures you put me on. All you have to do is write them out.

Addicted to the Sound of Typing

There are moments when writing comes to me and I can’t stop my fingers from clicking against the keys. Last night was one of those nights. I had a great time writing until one o’clock AM. It feels great when my work in progress flows out of me. There’s this soothing freshness that calms me. Work on my writing has always cleared my mind like a hot bath or that euphoric sense of accomplishment.

I am happy to say that the first draft of Mortal Soul Ascension has taken my breath away. There are some new characters that have taken some time for me to get to know. There’s one in particular that I would love to meet in person. I will talk more about this person when I publish the book.

My aim is to have the first draft done before the end of the month. This is going to call for some really late nights and dedication. It will be worth it though. I find when I don’t write I get all jumbled up. There is a piece of me that goes missing while I don’t write. It has become a part of me that is needed, like breathing. People can’t live without the constant breaths of air, and I can’t live without clicking words into a page.

To write with a pen is satisfying, but I have come to the conclusion that I am addicted to the sound of the sound of the keyboard. It’s music to my ears.

Cheers,
C. B. Dixon