Battling Project Overload: Coffee & Concepts

And no – it’s not a cool science fiction title. This is literally just the story of my life as an overactive busy-brained freelance writer.

My brain is so tired – like all the time. And I’ve found I also don’t retain things as well because of it. So, it’s high time I handle my crazy workload before it gets too big for me to manage. That’s why I really enjoyed my recent conversation with Walt Robillard – Editor in Chief of WarGate Books.

I was fortunate enough to land a spot on his podcast show, Coffee & Concepts, to talk about my books and my writing process. What so many people don’t think of when it comes to interacting with their favorite stories, is the way authors have to weave these narratives from literally nothing. And finding time / motivation to write can be challenging at best and near impossible at its worst.

We talked about what kinds of coffee we like (which is largely frappuccinos and lattes for me), as well as what kind of inspiration I gathered for my latest release of The Rewind Duology. This series is so important to me, because it really took the struggles I experienced as a kid, and flipped them all around. Where I used to feel weak, these books transformed into a triumph – and I’m also donating a portion of the proceeds to KIND Campaign as well!

Giving back to the community is a crucial component of my work – that’s why I love being able to support an amazing charity that I believe in. Alongside my work with high school students who have an interest in getting into the writing field, as well as my work on the Board of Directors for ARIA, it’s been a blessing to donate my time and efforts.

Excerpt from Forgetting What I Couldn’t Remember (The Rewind Duology #1):

“Maybe getting older lets you finally see all sides of the dice – not just the ones that are facing up.” 

Vera Bartlet is a soon-to-be college graduate with absolutely no idea how messy her life is about to become. It’s not just the job search looming on the horizon or her lack of a boyfriend that’s got her stomach in knots – rather, her dad has been missing for almost a decade, and no one knows what happened to him. 

When Uncle Edgar mysteriously arrives back onto the scene, he comes armed with some interesting new ideas about what may have happened to Vera’s dad – and an even more revolutionary idea of how to find him. With nothing short of bending time and space, Edgar sends Vera back in time in the hopes that she might find the clues they need to get her dad home. 

As she sifts through the mangled pieces of reality and her altered memories of middle school drama become jumbled in between truth and fantasy, Vera has to choose which elements of her past should stay in the past, and which she might like to incorporate into her future. Time travel is never simple, and there are always side effects – but in this case, it might just hold the key to finding her dad. Will Vera stay sane long enough to find her dad and make peace with the bullies who made her miserable?

I have plans to start drafting my next concept, but my life has been so chaotic. Here’s hoping things settle down soon. But until then, keep hustling!

Advertisement

“Diamond Heart” x The Rewind Duology

“The most beautiful things can come from the hardest times.”

Madilyn Bailey

Just like you may have seen in The Rewind Duology, the idea of a character interacting with her younger self is present in Madilyn Bailey’s new music video. Of course, this is a bit more voyeuristic of a style, in that she’s more watching over her younger self – but the nostalgic feeling is the same! Just like my character, Vera, Madilyn was an outcast as a kid, but that didn’t stop her from accomplishing amazing things later – namely, being a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent (in addition to garnering millions of views on YouTube).

I love seeing art like this that directly relates to my work, because it becomes a great tool to layer my own writing up against. It also proves to me that the things I’m working on matter to people, because other people are writing about issues like bullying too. What it comes down to, is that you cannot ever let people put you in a box – break out of that shit and get moving. You’re better now than you’ve ever been!

This song is so powerful, seriously – check out these lyrics:

“I took all the sticks and stones
All the blows and bricks they throw
Everything that ever gave me scars

All the hurt and bridges burned
Every word and lesson learned
And turned it into art
And in time built a diamond heart.”

As cliché as it may seem to say, it is those experiences that are tough at the time, but they make us who we were always meant to be.

In my books, Vera has to grapple with her past alongside her present moment to be her best self – and that includes going head to head with her old bullies, but now as an adult. The Rewind Duology is something that I am incredibly proud of, and I’m so humbled to be able to give a portion of the proceeds to KIND Campaign to prevent bullying in school. Might as well do some real-world good with my pain, right?

My new business cards, signifying the new era of my freelancing career! And I am SO EXCITED.

But honestly, I’ve already healed so much. I am so grateful for the lessons I learned. If I wasn’t forced to make due with being by myself for as long as I did, I probably wouldn’t have been half as motivated to make something great of myself. That’s why I’ve really thrown myself into freelancing more recently – and that has been so incredibly fulfilling for me!

So case in point – even if life ends up looking different than you originally expected it to be, you can still make something beautiful out of the cards you’ve been dealt. Don’t believe me? Watch “Diamond Heart” by Madilyn Bailey HERE.

If you’d like to read or listen to The Rewind Duology, you can access it on Amazon / Audible HERE. And if you’d like to meet me at one of my upcoming events, you can view those on my website!