Tag Archives: creative writing

New Book Release – Sharing Stories on Our Autism Journey


June is a great month. It official marks summer break from school, as well as the first day of Summer. It is also my birth month, which is why I decided to publish The Road I’ve Traveled on my birthday.

The Road I’ve Traveled is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Its official release date will be on the 19th of June.

I absolutely love the cover. The anchor represents my time in the Navy. The color blue represents my love of the ocean, as well as autism awareness.

The Road Ive Traveled

The Road I’ve Traveled is a compilation of poems and short stories Jennifer wrote during moments of her life where she felt the need to get it all out. She writes about being in the Navy during the tragedies of 9/11, having to deploy to New York where she and her shipmates stayed in New York’s harbor for three weeks, guarding the coastline in hopes of preventing any further attacks.

She writes about loss, love, heartbreak, family. You can see the fondness she had for her grandfather as she includes a heartfelt eulogy she had written moments after his passing.

She also writes about being a single mom, as well as a mom to a child who is on the autism spectrum. The journey they have endured together has been bumpy, but they continue to plow through life, learning about autism and sensory processing disorder as they go.

You can find all of my books, recently published and upcoming, under my name and my pen name, posted on my website: www.twistedcrowpress.com/books
Or, you can find them on Amazon:
For all books published under my name, Jennifer N. Adams on Amazon, click here.
For all books published under my pen name, J. Raven Wilde on Amazon, click here.
Advertisements

When Do You Find Time To Write?


writing on the road

Working on my next novel while running errands with my dad.

People still ask me how I find the time to write. To them, I’m quite a busy person.

“You’re a single mom with a special needs kiddo, you work full time, yet you have time to write and publish books? How do you do it?”

“Well, I make time,” I say with a shrug. “I love to write, so, I write.”

True, I have my hands completely full with my daughter. Being a special needs parent is a full-time job in itself, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m often approached by aspiring authors telling me that they don’t have the time to write, yet they want to write and publish a book. If you want to be a writer, then be one. Don’t sit on the sidelines saying how you wish you could be one. Make it happen. Authors don’t find time to write, they make time.

Authors don’t find time to write, they make time.

I was going to college full-time, working part-time, volunteering, taking care of my daughter as a single mom, and helping my grandmother. In the middle of all that I had written and published three books; one of which was a novel.

I have been able to remove ‘attending classes, studying and doing homework’ off of my plate, but my plate is still full. Between IEP meetings (I’ve had 6 this year so far), meeting with someone from the school (a weekly event, if not daily), school events, afterschool events, daily life requirements of housework and errands, work (the main money-bringer), I still find thirty minutes to an hour, sometimes more, to write. If my daughter is at school and I’m off work, that’s plenty of time (8 hours, give or take time out for lunch) to write and get my errands and housework completed.

Being an author is a job.

Since starting my new job last year, I have had nothing but time to write, that I have made it my second job. Being an author is a job. You not only work on your next book, but you have to promote and market the work that you have published. How else are you going to earn an income from your work if no one knows it’s out there?

However, I tend to spend a lot of time writing than I do marketing. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. I’m writing more, which means there will be more published works out there. The more you have published, the more your work will be noticed. I had also decided not to market as much until I had more published works out there.

I’m not saying all of this to brag, honestly! I’m trying to encourage others to make the time. I once used to look at published authors, wishing that I, too, could write and publish a book. I decided to tell myself that I could.

I started writing my novel, Chaos when my daughter was a few months old. I kept pushing it aside as I lacked the motivation to continue. My grandmother became my cheerleader, in a way, urging me to keep going. She knew I wanted to be a published author. I’m glad I listened to her.

Now that she is no longer here, I find myself thinking about her and what she would say each time that I need that little boost of encouragement. Or, I see the pride in my daughter’s eyes when she takes my children’s picture book to school to show everyone that her mommy wrote it. That right there is all the motivation I need.

Drinking Coffee and Writing to Jimmy Buffett


breakfast and writing

Being an author with ADD is quite hard. I can’t focus on just one writing project. I talked to a few co-worker’s about a few of my writing projects that I was working on and they asked me how was it that I didn’t get them mixed up? I told them that it’s like my brain has many web browsers open and that I’m unable to shut all but one off.

It’s true, though, I do have anywhere from two to four writing projects going. For some, that’s bad, but for others, it’s just the way we are. In a way, I can finish two or more writing projects at the same time.

Last year, I set a goal for myself, publish 6 titles a year for 5 years. Last summer, I switched jobs and found myself having quite a lot of time, so it was easy to use up that time to write, to focus on every one of my writing projects that I had going. I would drop my daughter off at school and head home and write until it was time to pick her up. Before I knew it, I had written three novellas, two non-fiction books, and a short story.

I ended up publishing that short story and one of my novellas last year, as well as a novel that my editor had sent back to me earlier in the year. The other two novellas that I had finished, I had published earlier this year. As for those two non-fiction books, they are set to be published this summer.

Now, the thing about having so much time on my hands and having ADD is that I find myself wanting to play video games or watch Netflix. It wasn’t too hard to find myself losing my discipline. Though I would work on my writing projects, the word count wasn’t nearly as much as it used to be.

It was time to change it up. With my laptop and notebook in my bag, I stopped by my local coffee shop, ordered a breakfast sandwich and a coffee, and then plopped myself into one of their comfy chairs and started writing. It didn’t take me long to come up with over 1100 words. I know that isn’t enough to some, but it’s a start. I also didn’t stay but a few hours.

Since yesterday went so well, I found myself repeating the process; sitting at my local coffee shop with my laptop opened to one of my works-in-progress. Today’s music is much different as it was yesterday.  As I sat down, I plugged in my earbuds, hoping to find something on Youtube that I could write to. The coffee shop owner tells Alexa to shuffle Jimmy Buffett and Cheeseburger In Paradise immediately rings out through the speakers. I didn’t bother with my earbuds and Youtube as I found myself singing along to Jimmy Buffett, while my fingers clicked across the keyboard on my laptop.

Something about listening to Jimmy Buffett helps fuel the creative juices in so many ways for me. Maybe it’s that I wish I was on the beach somewhere instead of being landlocked. With Jimmy Buffett playing, I could picture myself sitting at one of my favorite places that I frequented when I lived near the beach years ago, writing as if I was living my dream; sitting on the beach, writing full-time.

Whatever helps, right?

What inspires you? What fuels your creativity?

Interested in checking out one of my books? Visit my webpage: www.twistedcrowpress.com

 

Sometimes Creativity Takes a Break


creative-cat

I often find my creativity taking a leave of absence when I’m in the middle of a writing project. I typically binge watch a TV series or spend some time at my local library looking for a good book or series, then curl up on the couch at home and read. Or, I choose a handful of books from Kindle Unlimited, filling up my Kindle. It isn’t long before my creative juices start flowing again.

For the past month, I had been working hard on three of my five works-in-progress. You’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute, you’re working on that many writing projects at the same time?” Well, yes, it’s pretty common among us writers to do that. I have ADD, so my brain can’t just focus on one thing as it’s all over the place. And being creative, I have so, so many ideas running rampant inside my head…

Anywho. I tend to get quite a bit of writing done this way. When the opportunity presents itself, why not take up on it?

Our minds need a break, just like our bodies. When we have a hard time focusing on something, it’s probably a sign that we need to take a break and let our batteries re-charge.

I often find myself stepping away from my writing. It gives me time to focus on other things. After a few days, or sometimes a week passes by, my creativity returns and I’m back to pounding out the words on the keyboard.

Are Authors Introverts?


What is an introvert? An introvert is someone who prefers a quiet atmosphere, who spends a lot of time alone, avoiding social interactions. Almost sounds like a recluse, doesn’t it? Well, those are two separate entities.

Authors spend quite a bit of time slumped over a computer, eagerly typing away on our current work-in-progress (WIP). The desperate need to meet a deadline, or the need to pound out everything our creative muse is giving us before they decidedly take a break, because, they do that sometimes. We tend to ignore the outside world, quite busy in our own little world(s). So, you can see why it is that we would be introverts.

Most of us require a certain space to write in. I know I do. I often need it to be quiet to think if I get stuck somewhere in a story. Sometimes, I have to change it up a bit to get my creative juices flowing. Often times, I will change up my writing locations; watch a certain TV series; read a book series in the genre I am currently writing in, all just to get me on the right track. Once the creativity gets going, it flows and I keep typing away, or I jot everything down as it comes to me.

I am a huge note taker when I cannot find the time to sit behind a computer. I have a shelf full of notebooks with a plethora of ideas, character profiles, scenes, plots, storylines, etc and so on. I carry a notebook with me everywhere, including having one on my nightstand. Most nights, I’m too tired to sit at the computer and write, but once I lay down I’m often hit with ideas on my current work-in-progress and would start to scribble them down into my notebook.

I’m often asked how I find the time to write? Being a single mom and having a special needs kiddo, as well as a job, it’s hard, but I find the time; I wait till she goes to bed, I write during my lunch breaks, I write while waiting in the school line, I write on my days off when she’s at school. I don’t need to explain my day-to-day, but finding the time to write can be done.

No, I’m not the kind of author that can type up 50,000 words in a month. I mean, that would be nice, but those are the kind of people who don’t have a job to head out to or kids to take care of, or if they did have kids, they have someone else to help them out. Me, I can type up around 500 – 1200 words in a day. One day, I typed up over 2500 words, but that was on my day off from work and I didn’t have any errands to run or chores to do. Those are rare days, too!

Every author is different. We all have our own styles or methods in doing what we do, to achieve getting our book written. There are those who can publish 10 or more titles a year, but that also goes along with what I just mentioned. Or, some of those titles aren’t full-length novels, to which I can see publishing that many short stories a year. I’ve published three titles this year; two were short stories and one was a novel, but I had been working on my novel for almost eight years.

I’ve grown accustomed to staying home on my days off my day job to work – as an author. My author business is a second job. There’s a lot that goes into it other than writing that next book. Marketing would be a big factor that goes into being a published author. Emails to answer or to send out, a webpage or blog to maintain, book orders to mail, events to prepare for. Those are just a few things I’ve mentioned. There is a whole lot that goes with being an author, especially if you’re an indie author. Even when I was traditionally published, I still had a lot of marketing to do on my end. It’s my work and I had to get the word out there on it or else I wouldn’t be making a cent. You can’t sell your books if no one knows it’s out there.

I tend to take breaks from social media. These days, you have to. I find myself getting lost on Pinterest. So many good recipes I need to try, or cute crafts my kiddo would enjoy, lol! If I need to focus on meeting my deadlines, it’s a must to take a break from the internet.

Introverts can be great listeners. Not all introverts are socially awkward or rude. Some introverts enjoy not being in the spotlight, or would rather refrain from speaking to a large crowd of people. Some introverts are more comfortable writing than speaking. Not everyone is great at public speaking or has a way with words when it comes to a conversation. Authors tend to use their way with words in their work and like an introvert, it may take many revisions to get out what it is we’re trying to say.

 

 

DP: Menagerie


Today’s Daily Prompt, Menagerie, is all about pets. Do you have them and if not, why?

cf38

I’m about 4 years old in this picture, holding our dog named Buffy.

I remember having pets growing up, mostly dogs. It was just a part of life to have one, if not two dogs or cats in the household.

When I got out of the Navy, I decided civilian life was dull, that it was missing something. I went to the local animal shelter, asked to see the ones they were about to put down, and adopted myself a cat. Actually, she adopted me.

I must have held fifteen of them, all adults, both male and female. All of them were cute and cuddly, making my choice to pick just one very hard. Then I held an adult female Maine Coon. She didn’t mew or purr, even after I talked calmly to her for a few minutes. I scratched her head for a few seconds longer and she leaned up and licked me twice on my chin. It was in that moment I decided she was coming home with me.

She was in such a sad state that I had no choice but to have her shaved. Her coat was just mangled in knots that I was afraid brushing her would be painful, not for me, but for her. When I brought her home, she hid under the bed or on top of the fridge. I sat out cans of tuna, which won her trust. She lived almost six years after I adopted her before she passed away from old age. She became my lap cat, purring endlessly and always gave me kitty kisses on my hand or arm, whichever was closest to her. Such an amazing, lovable furbaby.

1397571364_l

Miss Kitty (on the left) and Lucky Boy (on the right).

I did adopt one more cat a year after I got her. He was a stray kitten, running around the streets, barely a few months old. Sadly, one day, after he was over a year old, he got out of the house when I wasn’t home and I was never able to find him after that.

I miss both of my cats and having owned pets of my own, can attest on how they become your children. You tend to them; feed them, groom them, bath them, give them attention, love them. Animals are a part of your family. Mine had their own Christmas stockings and their own wrapped presents. They were my babies and when they were gone, I mourned them.

I currently don’t own any pets due to my living situation, but in the next few years, I’m hoping to change that.

WPC: Motion


This week’s photo challenge is, Motion.

My grams, ironing quilt blocks, to which the image came out looking really neat.

motion2

Life Choices


Hello, Friday, I’ve missed you!

Oddly, I thought it was May 17th, instead of April 17th. I must be mentally wishing this semester to be over with already and so I can start enjoying this gorgeous weather and outdoor activities with mini me. She’s only a child once and I’m missing out on taking her to the park in the afternoon, or playing with sidewalk chalk and bubbles, all because I’m constantly stuck indoors, on the computer, working on homework every day.

There’s been a couple of times where I’ve skipped doing homework, just so I can play with my daughter; though I got a little behind, I feel it was worth putting it off. I don’t want my daughter growing up feeling that I never spent time with her and constantly pushed her aside in order to keep my nose stuck in the books or to constantly cit in front of the computer, typing up essay after essay.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy going to class, I just wish to be done with it already and be out there doing what I’ve been going to school for. Three more semesters to go… Graduation date, Dec 2016!

Today’s Daily Prompt asked,

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?

I wish that someone had pointed out to me, that going to college for Aviation maintenance was a bad choice. I had problems while I was in school just from being a female. The constant sexual harassment I had to deal with from the male student population and also from a couple of instructors. I tried to turn them in, but the dean didn’t wish to hear it; I was a minority, there were five females in the entire school, versus a 98% male student population. Plus, there weren’t any female teachers. The owner of the college began firing most of his female office staff. His goal, to make the college an ‘all male’ school. That just made it more uncomfortable being there. Alas, I cut my education short and graduated early, though I did manage to get my Associates Degree in Aviation Airframe.

Then, the recession hit and not only did I have trouble finding a job because I lacked experience, but I couldn’t find a job because the aviation business declined immensely and no one was hiring. I had to work for free to get my experience and didn’t enjoy it. The guy I worked for complained majority of the time about having to work and fussed at me constantly about the need for perfection. I finally quit working for him and started working somewhere that paid; I had a student loan to pay off and was falling into debt.

I fell out of love with aviation, it was more of a childhood dream and all those around me crushed that dream. I didn’t want to be around airplanes anymore.

Six years later, I decided to go back to school, but for something else, something that I will have no problems finding a job doing. There’s a huge market for anthropology, as there are many fields and sub-fields.

I continue to volunteer my time doing many different things as an anthropologist. I don’t even have my degree…yet and I’m enjoying myself. My current favorite, volunteering at the zoo with the large primates.

There will always be a list of shoulda, coulda, wouldas, so change that by finding something you enjoy doing. Live out your dreams. Follow through with your goals. Be happy with your choices.

Happy Friday, everyone!

OWPC: Eigengrau


eigengrau

This week’s One Word Photo Challenge is, eigengrau. This was a color I had to look up so that I could help you understand the color better by describing it.

sh2

She loves her superheros!

xmas lights

My sister and I took our kiddos to see the Christmas lights at Garvin Gardens. Of course, I had mini me up on my shoulders. So much easier to keep up with her that way, lol!

OWPC: Copper


I almost didn’t make this week’s photo challenges, as I have a pile of college homework to do; it’s almost the end of the semester.

This week’s One Word Photo Challenge is copper.

My dad's cat, Willow. She's great at hiding, but my daughter can always find her. She greets her with an excited, "Hi, Willow!" Then gives her a gentle pat and leaves her alone for the rest of our visit with my parents.

My dad’s cat, Willow. She’s great at hiding, but my daughter can always find her. She greets her with an excited, “Hi, Willow!” Then gives her a gentle pat and leaves her alone for the rest of our visit with my parents.