Monday, June 29, 2015

Why You Should Try NaNoWriMo | C. L. Kay | Camp NaNoWriMo Banner 2015

Another July, another NaNoWriMo.

For those new to the event, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) is a call-to-action for authors to pen a 50,000 word novel in just 30 (or 31) days. What began as an annual November event soon morphed into a biyearly event with the version of "Camp NaNoWriMo" for the summer. Camp was so successful they broke it up into two events; one in April and the other July. | C. L. Kay | Break Boundaries Blog GraphicI wrote extensively about my first experience with NaNoWriMo. It was an unexpected journey that ushered me from uncertain fledgling into the realm of serious writers. I didn't know just how far I could go until I used the event to challenge my boundaries. It gave me the tools I needed to silence my goblin and helped me gain trust in my writing process.

What makes this year's Camp so exciting is the ability to set your own word count goal. Gone are my days of hanging my head in shame when I can't complete 50,000 words. I've attempted the November event three times and Camp three times previously. I only "won" the first time I tried in 2011. I've set next month's goal at 25,000 while I work on building a fantasy short story collection.  I feel confident that I can attain this while balancing my work and parenting obligations.

I hope you'll join me in July's challenge. If you're still not sure if NaNo is for you or if you think 50,000 words sounds completely insane (which it does), maybe my NaNoWriMo Survival Guide will sway you. If I can to do it, so can you!

Monday, June 1, 2015

New Website

After a few months of designing and transferring my domain, my website is finally live!

The site is a place for me to bring together all of my work in one place. There are links to my stories, blog updates, art for sale, shareable graphics, and more!  The site will continue to evolve as I do so expect regular changes and tweaks!

If you've been keeping up with my antics you'll know this signals a huge leap for me. Everyday the goblin is quieter and I'm more open to sharing my gifts with the world.

I hope you'll visit soon. | C. L. Kay | Website Graphic

Sunday, May 24, 2015

New Story: Aloi Who Learned To Fly

Since I need some time away from my novel in progress, I decided to turn my eye on some stories I've had on the back burner. One that screamed at me the loudest is a young adult fantasy short story collection. I figured it would allow an opportunity to work on something fun and stress-free.

Elementia is a continent home to four countries. The cultures and people are defined by their varied landscapes--each ruled by one of the four elements. I begin my journey in the land of earth, Grovenglen. My goal over the next few months is to post new parts of the story on Wattpad. I'll add more each week as I edit. 

Here's the teaser:

"It was nearly one hundred generations since the Faeryfolk came to Elementia and settled in Grovenglen. The orators spoke of the days when they could flap their wings and lift themselves into the treetops rather than climb rope ladders. That ability, or gift, as the Elders called it, died off after they settled. The trees were so abundant that Faeries only needed to leap from branch to branch. 

Aloi was just like every other Faery child--content with tending to the family garden, trading with the mushroom gnomes, or floating in the Mirrored Pools. It wasn't until her junior brother Mick was caught in a high tree that Aloi discovered she wasn't at all like the other children. Can she keep her secret and avoid being sent to live with the Elders--or worse--banished from Grovenglen altogether?"

As always, Wattpad is FREE TO ALL. Just click the link, sign up, and read!---> Click here to read. | C. L. Kay | Aloi Who Learned To Fly Cover Art

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why Taking a Break is Necessary

It is a fact that acclaimed American writer Mark Twain took a long time to write books. Over 400 pages into Tom Sawyer he felt the manuscript was feeling contrived. He put it away for two whole years before touching it again to allow his subconscious to refill.

This is not to say that I am in the same league with Twain or that my work is on par with Tom Sawyer. But I do know wisdom when I hear it. Sometimes you have to look up instead of look within. You need to take a break from your work so that you can come back to it with a fresh eye and a clear mind. It is part of the process

As much as I believe in my novel in progress, The Bloodsong Swords, I know that by pushing it forward now, I'll be doing the story and myself a disservice. In the mean time I've been doing a lot of painting and focusing on my Etsy store. 

During this break from writing, I find my mind wandering to other stories and characters that I have in progress. I will likely end up working on those since that where the fire is burning hottest. I know it is better to go with the flow than go against the grain where the muse is concerned.

For now, I'm going to keep looking up. | C. L. Kay | "Sometimes you have to look up instead of look within." --CLK

Monday, April 6, 2015


As you may know, a revised draft of my primary novel-in-progress was read and reviewed by a group of trusted beta-readers. While all agree that the story concept is good and the action engaging, there is a certain lack of empathy toward some of the characters. Particularly toward an individual who is essential to the story's conclusion. C. L. Kay Don't Over Edit Blog Graphic
I couldn't help but wonder how characters that I'm so invested in and in love with have come across unlikable on the page. Luckily, one of my readers tackled both drafts of this story. She pointed out that I edited the heart out of my novel. It lost its magic. I cut and trimmed so much of what I assumed were extraneous details that I left my characters naked. They lacked critical back story, motivations, and reasoning in the second draft.

So I find myself in a stalemate. My creative/receptive side is in a proverbial stare down with my logical/critical side. It is obvious now that this tale is bigger than what my two planned novels can handle. I am going to continue to work on the conclusion and reanalyze the project as a whole upon completion. Perhaps it is a trilogy after all--as much as the cliche irks me.

It is difficult to quell the inner goblin after receiving constructive criticism. Especially since this revelation means I will again have to push back my publication date. So in the mean time I'm working on a different story as well as painting. I think it is wise to step away from what is vexing me and refill my subconscious.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Importance of Being Yourself

Many people adhere to the idea that fitting in is better than standing out. I was one of them. I suppressed all of my creative inclinations so that I might be accepted by those around me who didn't hear the drum beat I did. I actually hung out with people who dimmed my inner light in the hopes that perhaps it would eventually die and I could be just like everyone else and no longer the butt of jokes, the weird one, the bitch.

I've been told I had my head in the clouds. I've been told I act like a child simply because I haven't allowed life to kill my imagination. I've been told I'm uncool, uptight, different. You name it.

Through it all, my inner fire remained (some days burning brighter than others) until one day I let it warm me instead of trying to extinguish it. Little by little, I kindled the flame until it burned bright. The past five years have been about shedding skins, evolving, being myself. I've become a mother, a novelist, and soon a self-published novelist. I've removed obstacles to my success be it people, places, or things. I'm still stoking the flames but am now comfortable in my own skin, proud of my ideas, thrilled with what it will bring in the future.

Last night I finalized the cover design for my debut e-book, the manuscript is nearly ready for a professional copy edit, and I'm ready to crack a bottle of champagne. None of this would be possible if I'd listened to anything other than my inner wisdom, my creative flame. I've gained infinitely more than I lost just by being myself.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

New Story: The Man With The Robot Wife

I posted a new short story on Wattpad today. This is one that has gone through four drafts and three different endings. It explores psychological pain, loneliness, friendship, and the impact of technology on every-day life.

Here's the teaser:

"Gage Barman, a hermit and neighborhood curiosity, owns a junk shop in a crumbling building located on the corner of a busy urban intersection. In an era where electronics are inexpensive enough to use and repurchase months later and Modified Biological Organisms are commonplace, customers to his shop are a rare occurrence. But on New Year's Eve, 2049, a friendly young police officer and M-Bo, Ely Lonnam, begins making regular purchases. Will Gage befriend his new customer despite his appearance or is he destined to continue his reclusive phobic ways?"

If this sounds like something you are interested in, you can read the story here. Votes and comments are always welcome and support my efforts for exposure. Enjoy! And remember, reading stories on Wattpad is FREE to all. C. L. Kay The Man with the Robot Wife Book Cover

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Internet

As you can see, I've been diligently cleaning house and redecorating this blog. I've also been designing an official website and Pinterest page that I plan to launch in the near future. After all of that work plus tweaking profiles on five different social networks I couldn't help but ask myself: Why do all of this?

a quote floating over a stack of blue books on wood backgroundWhen chatters jokingly call the internet "the interwebs," I think they are actually hitting on a clearer version of the truth. A net is typically orderly and sequenced. A web is artful, complex, and circuitous. It takes positioning yourself into every level of the internet--from social networks to blogs to official sites--to ensure that you have the widest reach possible. Every action links to every other action either directly or indirectly. This can potentially lead your product, brand, or thoughts to every corner of the globe with an internet connection.

The answer to my question: YOU. My goal is to connect and share my stories with as many people as possible. I'm willing to take all the necessary steps to make that happen.

See you around the web!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How Sharing Stories Can Help You Connect

As an artist, I always tend to be my harshest critic, my biggest bully. No story is good enough. No turn of phrase impactful enough. No word just right. It has taken me quite a few years to feel confident enough to share work. I recently joined the fold on Wattpad--a story sharing site hosting a spectrum of tales from tween fan faction to highly renowned authors like Paulo Coelho.

Wattpad is fun. It is first and foremost a community of story lovers; readers and writers alike. You can post short or long stories, serials that you update weekly, or novel-length work. There are groups to join and loads of inspiring and fun stories to discover. You can "vote" on any work simply by clicking the star icon on the page to show you liked it. You can also comment on any section of work and converse with the authors. All in all, it is a great platform to connect with an audience.

I invite you all to join in.  Read my work. Post your own work. Or simply connect with others who love stories as much as you do. Hope to see you there! C. L. Kay audience beginning writer beginnings challenges choices craft destiny ebook ebooks editing facebook fantasy fiction genre inspiratoin instagram magical realism rewriting science fiction social media twitter wattpad welcome writing work

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Fear The Process

It has been nearly a year since my last post and the completion of my novel. Through careful editing, tweaking characters, and a lot of cutting, my shitty first draft has transformed into an exciting tale with compelling characters. At least in my humble opinion.

The manuscript is now in the hands of a select few "beta-readers" who will collectively provide me with my first taste of scrutiny. As long as I've been writing, I've never been this excited about a piece of work or this confident in my creation. Will my readers' reactions meet my expectations? Or have I been so completely wrapped up in my own mind that I can't see the forest for the trees?  I will soon find out.

I thought this part of the process would be easy. The work is complete. It is out of my hands. Instead, I find myself anxious and worried which is no way to live. To combat my discomfort I've taken to channeling it into new and old projects. I currently have a slew of unfinished or unpolished stories. I am a chronic "starter." As it stands, I have three incomplete short stories, three incomplete novellas, and five incomplete novels that are part of the same series. To put it bluntly, I have plenty of ideas and very little discipline. That is all beginning to change.

Process. The writing lifestyle is all one big process. There isn't a definitive line between published and unpublished. There isn't a box I can check off that shows I've succeeded. You work, you research, you dream, you pour your heart onto the page. Yes, there are beginnings and endings, but really, it is just the ebb and flow of creativity.

The one thing I have learned through this process, as hundreds of other writers have stated before me and will long after me, is you have to write. Don't judge yourself too harshly. Choose work that you're passionate about and see it through to the end.

I'll leave you with this quote from the legendary Andy Warhol: C. L. Kay imaginative writer offbeat spirit challenges craft dreams editing fiction drafts process rewriting writing publishing kindle ebook book facebook twitter instagram pinterest wattpad via Canva