Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reflection of the past

This is a previous post I wrote in 2013 and I thought its still fitting as 2015 draws closer, I still struggle with balancing my personal life with my creative outlet but I have gotten a little bit better shaken things off (the Taylor Swift song exemplifies this somewhat) so as I stay focus on the same goals of getting published the traditional way its nice to read what I felt back then and the strides I have made.  

So I have hit a rather unfortunate snag in my writing nope its not writers block its stress,the type of stress that seemed to be dimming my many characters voices and that has angered me. I have been enduring a rather difficult situation at work and the stress revolves around the fact I cannot control the outcome--the outcome for me would be to eliminate the situation, to look at individuals who I felt wronged me and block them out so much so it'll seem like I don't know them. I realize that will never happen because its not realistic what is realistic is that I have to roll with the punches so to speak and deal with it, and deal with it means getting on with my life and in time it'll work out for itself. The truths that I am learning from my recent circumstances are as follows. 1. How people interpret what I do what I say is out of my control What is within my control is how I respond which hasn't been the most positive because I have let my anger get the best of me. 2. Its okay to let my guard down Trust is super important to me and I presume for many people that is also important but what I realize is that once I let down my guard I am at risk to get hurt so I can either live in a shell and only let the people I feel safe within my comfort zone or realize although I will get hurt I have to be optimistic that other people that cross my path will be good people. 3. Its okay to not be liked This reflection was difficult for me I use humor many times to hide my discomfort in social situations because my personality is more of a home body anyways as a writer whose pursuing the difficult dream of getting agent and published I realize many times I will judged by my writing; by critique partners/beta readers freelance editors agents/editors etc and majority of time those individuals may not get my writing and that is okay because it will not reflect who I am as a person so the key is to separate the two which is easier said than done. In conclusion writing is is part of me its been long gone from the outlet I utilized to deal with stress and merged to an actual job, a goal that I will persevere at until I get the results that I want which is to be published via the traditional way. Its fitting I write this post as the new year creeps closer, so my goal for 2013 other than getting a agent/published is to learn to deal with my stress better and realize the world I share with includes some people that will hurt me or have values that does not mesh with my values, and I must decide whether I want that hurt or differences in values consume me to the point I cannot focus on my writing or look at it the sensible way which is I am only in charge of me and also I am only human and will learn to be a better person based on my experiences. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Revision Cave

I must admit an awful truth I have slacked off immensely, well don't be quick to shame me part of the reason is being inundated with university work (wishing I can write everyday, but that won't garner me making a living so I will continue to dream.)


When I began writing in summer 2010 ( previous blog post, I mentioned my epic plan) fast-forward to 2014 my epic plans to be agented and published is not a failure, because it's not a race, and I believe that my dream, although hard will happen because I choose to persevere, I have been through so much, first off,  concluding working with initial editor (to be fair I knew nothing of writing) recently being let go by my awesome editor because things had changed between both of us, and that was okay. Deciding to pursue my university degree changed things as well because the delicate balance commenced on top of being a mom, a wife, etc. I realized few days ago I was going about things wrong I was rushing, and in fact, I was not pacing in order to finish a readable manuscript, I am still in love with my original book and at the same time have plenty of ideas as I rewrite it, I am glad I am stubborn because I have not stopped just yet until I finish my first book, when it's all said and done if it becomes a book I hide under my mattress so be it but for now, I will pace to get it done right.


Part of pacing includes reading I admit I have decreased that, and I have missed out and my muse has suffered that consequence, one thing my second editor told me was to always read because it will enable me to continue learning about the craft and not forget the skills I learned.

Finally, as I write this blog, I am thinking of the amazing, beautiful, courageous Maya Angelou I will leave you with a wonderful poem this poem inspires me in so many ways.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.


Keisha Martin

Friday, March 7, 2014


I have known for a few years in order to make it in the business of publishing the initial step one must undergo is resiliency also referred to as gaining a  'tough skin.' Things change, which may occur at various stages of the writer's journey. I reassure myself often by stating its okay

I have always been the type of person that let things affect me by over thinking  why things happen and blame myself, few years ago I decided I had to work on this, I achieved this by simply telling myself to focus on the things I can change which include:

  • Reading often variety of books that teaches various skills of writing a great book, a few years ago I purchased Writing the Breakout Novel workbook by Donald Maas this is a fantastic guide for me as I revise my novel(s) in addition, I have a few more books  specifically for writing YA books, since I write as well for teens.
  • Not rushing things, publishing is slow, therefore it would be a shame to send a manuscript that has so many flaws, although the publishing world seems huge its actually quite small and garnering feedback for a manuscript with flaws is not the way I want to go.
  • Reading an array of books
  • Remembering why I chose to write
  • Identifying numerous resources and seeking the help of writers/authors within the community
  • In addition, learning the business also include asking questions, such as identify the credentials of an editor.
I could list many more, but these are the main points I tell myself often, and also tell my peers that are also writers, aspiring to be published like me, human beings I think if giving the choice would always want things to work out their own way, to gain perks however that euphoria is a dream, reality is hard sometimes but it teachers humans to be resilient and grow. If I faltered the first time I got a rejection (I so deserved it, I had no clue few years ago what it takes to hone the craft and sent out a batch of horrible writing samples and queries) then I should not be writing, I write because it's what I love and it's what I will fight for by learning and growing and not backing down when the going gets tough.

Happy resiliency to you.

Keisha Martin

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ELEVATED by Elana Johnson--interview

Why did you venture into as you mentioned on your website the indie realm of publishing?I ventured into Indie publishing with this book, because I think it's worthy to be published. My agent thought so too, as did some editors. But ultimately, there were no offers for the book from a traditional publisher. That doesn't mean the book isn't good -- for this particular title, it meant the traditional market couldn't support it. But that doesn't mean books have to die anymore. So I published it myself -- and it has been an amazing experience!

Can you tell us a bit about the book?
ELEVATED is about a girl who gets stuck in an elevator with her ex-boyfriend. She hasn't spoken to him in a few months, and she's been keeping some pretty big secrets from him. So there's a lot of drama and angst.

How did you come up with the idea for Elevated (gorgeous cover by the way)
I got the idea for ELEVATED about 5 years ago, when I was visiting a planetarium with my kids. We got in this huge elevator to go up to the dome for a laser light show, and I thought, "What would happen if we got stuck in this elevator?"

So the idea was to write about people stuck in an elevator -- one of my greatest fears! It only took a little bit of thinking to make the people exes.
And thanks on the cover. My amazing friend, Erin Summerill, did an original photo shoot for the cover. I love it too!

What were the best writing moments when you were writing Elevated?
When I decided to turn it into a verse novel! I had been toiling on it for a few months, having written only 100 pages. Nothing was working. Then I had the idea to stretch myself and try writing in a new way: verse. ELEVATED instantly had new life.

How has the journey been from traditional publishing to publishing your indie novel?
It's been great! I've had great support from friends and family, and the only differences I've noticed have been mostly positive. I have really enjoyed turning into a "hybrid" author, where I can still write and publish in the traditional market, but also self-publish books that that market doesn't support.

What’s your favorite scene to write?
I loved writing the scene where Elly sees herself clearly for the first time in months. The first line of the poem is, "I've been living a wax paper life." I absolutely love that line, and her realizations. That was a fun part to write.

What was the hardest scene to write?
The entire end! I always have trouble with endings, and writing ELEVATED was no different.

What do writers need to know prior to self-publishing their novel?
It is just as much -- or more -- work as traditional publishing. You should plan to hire a professional cover artists, interior designer, editor, copy editor, and proofreader. There's nothing to be skimped on if you want to put out a quality product for readers.

Are you planning a series for Elevated?
No. It is a standalone novel. I will be self-publishing another verse novel in September, titled SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE, but it is unrelated in every way to ELEVATED.

ELEVATED (YA contemporary romance) is available now!

Possession, Surrender and Abandon -- all available from Simon & Schuster!
Digital short stories Regret (only 99 cents) and Resist (free!) round out the trilogy.

For more info please check out Elana's blog


Recently I got in  debate on social media with a writer, I didn't know this writer I saw his post in my timeline and got worked up prem...