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‘The Writing Life’ Category

  1. Radio Silence and the Hawaiian Escape

    December 12, 2014 by Kiersi

    Hawaiian sunset by Kiersi

    I am completely obsessed with the sunsets here.

    I’ve been quiet on the blog simply because I’ve had a major time crunch these last few weeks and decided to forego my online and social media activities while I prioritized the important stuff. (I know that sounds like, uh, duh, isn’t that what you should always be doing? And the answer is that I’ve been pretty terrible at this in the past and so going quiet was actually a calculated and concerted effort on my part to be a responsible adult with book contracts and clients and her own business so just let me have this okay.)

    Anyhow, things have been really exciting lately, and because I was so responsible the last few weeks (I still managed to re-watch the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender with a buddy, learn to play banjo, and attend like, three concerts, so “responsible” is a very flexible term in my case), I decided I could stop in and talk about some recent amusements. (more…)


  2. 10 Truths About the Time I Almost Gave Up

    October 12, 2014 by Kiersi

    I still can’t believe I got a book deal. (Check out this post for more information.) I don’t mean that metaphorically. I honestly sometimes sit here and don’t actually believe that it happened. That it is happening.

    One thing I want to say to all the writers out there trying to get published, trying to get an agent, trying to finish a novel:

    Don’t. Give. Up.

    I mean it. And believe me—I know what it feels like to hear that from an author who’s getting published. “Yeah, well, that’s all well and good and easy for you to say. You have a book deal.”

    But there’s a reason I sometimes still don’t believe it’s true:

    Truth #1: I almost gave up.

    Truth #2: SECOND CHANCE RANCH is, actually, my second book deal. (Though SHY GIRL AND SHY GUY will still be my first published book.) (more…)


  3. The Revision Mire

    October 2, 2014 by Kiersi

    Well, I’m deep in a second revision of a Very Exciting Middle-Grade Project (this is how I cleverly work around actually telling you the name of this project, aren’t I clever?) and let’s just say, editing a book is much less magical when it’s the second time you’ve edited said book in a matter of weeks.

    I was so charmed by this book when I began work on my second draft with a pile of excellent notes in hand from my talented critique partner, Amber KeyserWow! I thought. This sure needs a lot of work, but the bones are all here. Amazing. I can’t believe she actually liked it! Maybe it’s worth its salt? It will be when I finish all this hard work! I’m really inspired to get it all done!

    How sweet and naïve of you, Kiersi-from-a-month-ago. What a world you lived in. How I wish I could be your roommate in it.

    I mean, I did do a pretty good first revision (::blows on knuckles, rubs knuckles on collar::) if I do say so myself. It did accomplish what it needed to accomplish. But now there’s this next step, this third draft thing before the book can move on to its next life stage, and suddenly ugh I actually have to do work now? It’s not all fun and games and ponies and rainbows and cute little polkadot bowties forever?!

    How dare you, book. HOW DARE YOU.

    But! There’s a carrot at the end of the stick. If I get this done and send it in, I get to try my hand at a shiny new project. A potentially very exciting and lucrative and hilarious and edgy new project. Wow, what kind of series of adjectives was that? Do I get a prize?

    Have you ever worked on revisions in close succession? What do you do to get the magic back? Let me know in the comments!


  4. My Writing Process Blog Tour

    May 13, 2014 by Kiersi

    Well, I was tagged in this blog challenge by not one, but two lovely ladies: Amber J. Keyser, my oft-partner-in-crime and a devilishly talented writer, and Lauren Spieller, a recently-agented author and spectacular friend. So, without further ado:

    1. What am I working on?

    For reasons, I am revisiting my middle grade novel, Gryphon. Gryphon is an epic fantasy starring a princess, an orphan, gryphons, and even a dragon. It’s that kind of book!

    I’m also in the trenches plotting a new novel, but I’m not ready to talk about it just yet. However, I can tell you it will be YA (I’m returning to my roots!) and it’ll have a retro 1920s sci-fi feel. The mood of the story really captured me and I’m so psyched to start telling it! (more…)


  5. Traveling: A Love-Hate Relationship

    March 22, 2014 by Kiersi

    This Spring is going to be a travel nightmare.

    Traveling is a real big mixed bag of feelings for me. I hate it, because it’s for work. I love it, because it’s some sponsored time to get away. But I hate it, because it’s taking me away from home, and making me miss concerts and get-togethers and Pokemon league.

    An airplane is an unexpected place to find peace and quiet. As a writer, I’ve found it’s a great place to work, if not my favorite one–as long as you can be blunt with that chatty, oblivious woman who sits down next to you and say, sorry, but I can’t talk. I’ve got work to do. (If you’re the non-confrontational type, headphones function really well for this. Just slip them in while someone is talking to you and the message is conveyed without room for misinterpretation.) (more…)


  6. It’s Your Freaking Destiny

    March 19, 2014 by Kiersi

    So here’s a crazy thing that happened.

    I stopped really producing much of anything writing-related after August. I got really good at journaling, because that was the only way I could think of to process how I felt about getting dumped, moving out of my house, and watching my book wither and die–that, and to write the first half of a contemporary romance novel I have yet to finish.

    You’d think that period of not producing anything would have set me back as a writer; that stepping back for a while would cause some doors to close for me. But there’s no one right way to reach your final destination. The old adage about “one step back, two steps forward” is sometimes true. (more…)


  7. A Change of Direction

    March 18, 2014 by Kiersi

    You may have noticed it’s been pretty quiet over here on The Prolific Novelista. Or maybe you haven’t noticed, because that’s the thing about blogs: they work so long as you continue to update them. Readers will come when they can expect regular content, when they refresh the home page and find something new.

    And I have not lived up to that expectation.

    There’s a couple reasons for that, and even more reasons why it’s led me to decide to change my direction.

    A few months ago, I started to struggle to come up with topics for both this blog and for Publishing Hub, where I post every other Wednesday. Every post I began writing for TPN felt tired and boring and totally uninspired. (more…)


  8. When’s the Best Time to Write?

    February 26, 2014 by Kiersi

    This post was originally published on the group blog, Publishing Hub.com

    A couple of years ago, a writing instructor at a conference advised us on how to segment a day’s work for maximum effectiveness. He told us, “revise in the morning when you’re fresh, and write in the afternoon and evening, when you’re creative.”

    Ever since, I’ve wondered a couple things. Is he right? Is the morning really the best time to do methodical work—editing, revising, rewriting? And is the evening really the bright center of our creative minds?

    I came across the notion of segmented sleep a couple of years ago in an article by BBC News Magazine called “The Myth of the Eight Hour Sleep.” It cites a 90s study on natural human sleep patterns that may shed some light on when human minds are at their ripest for creative work. (more…)


  9. Finding the Joy

    December 18, 2013 by Kiersi

    Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 9.23.12 AM

    The other night I had a realization that writing has become a chore for me.

    More and more I find myself thinking, I really need to sit down and get in some writing time. And then I don’t. I find reasons not to. I sit in front of my Scrivener files (either the work-in-progress waiting to be finished or the one waiting to be revised) and chew my fingernails. I look at my phone. I set my Freedom app for 30 minutes, essentially kicking me off the internet with no recourse, and instead I find myself goofing around in my journal or cleaning my house while the minutes tick down.

    I don’t count it in my “fun time” allocation anymore; it’s work time. And the problem with that? I already have plenty of work to go around! I have more work things that need doing than I know what to do with; I’ve already used up all those work hours for things that make me money. (more…)


  10. Why I Didn’t Finish NaNoWriMo

    December 1, 2013 by Kiersi

    Yep. That’s right. I didn’t. You may remember something like this happening:

    – I started a fantasy novel at the beginning of the month. I got about 6,000 words into it.

    – Then, for some reason, I scrapped it and started a completely different book. A New Adult, contemporary romance novel. I wrote the first 31,000 words in four or five days.

    – And then life happened. I had a ton of contract work that had piled up; I met someone (this is a big part of it, I’m sure); I started a part-time job; Thanksgiving; concerts; exercise; and then I lost my way.

    Because I was pantsing this novel (see: no outline, no plan, just writing). Because I had no idea where I was headed when I started besides a final image, a last consequence, and without a road map, I went off-track and tripped in some mud. I’ve been slogging, slowly but surely, trying to re-formulate a plan of attack.

    And I was stressing myself out, wondering: How am I going to get this done by the end of the month? I don’t even know where I’m going, not to mention how to get there.

    Not that I regret not outlining this book. It’s allowed me some great privileges I wouldn’t otherwise have had. It allowed my heroes to go wherever they pleased, to do whatever felt right, to try out new things and push my limits and challenge me in ways heroes of mine never have before.

    Oh, and then somehow, the book had magical realism.

    With all of those things stacked on top of each other, well–I had to make a choice. And I decided it wasn’t worth stressing over. I decided that NaNo had started me on a quest I wouldn’t have otherwise started, that it had done its job and I could finish the job on my own, when time permitted, when life evened out for a few seconds and I could play a little catch-up. So I set a new end date for myself in January, which is perfectly feasible for the last 50,000 words of this novel.

    So, this is why I didn’t finish National Novel Writing Month. I decided that a great book doesn’t have to write itself in a month; I decided it was worth focusing on the important changes happening in my life and waiting for the right story to reveal itself to me.

    A huge round of applause to all my friends who did!