writer

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 11 – Friday, September 15th, 2017) – Sending to Beta Readers Tonight

Posted on Updated on

Round 1 Edits are complete. I’ve even incorporated a few pieces of feedback on the first two chapters from the beta reading team. I feel sadness over putting the novel on hiatus for two weeks, but the break will give me the energy boost when I return from vacation to power through the next phase. In the meantime, this will be the last Father Figure update until Friday 10/6. For now, I am thrilled to present Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, September 15, 2017 – Week #11

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • All grammar and spelling has been corrected to the best of my ability. I plan to step away for a few weeks and look at it again with a fresh set of eyes, as I know I’ll find a few minor updates once I’m relaxed. Those types of items will be easy to fix in Round 2 Editing.
    • I removed 5% of the pages / content, leaving me at 378 pages and 112K words. I know I have another 5% that will need to be cut to clean up excess wordiness, but I plan to wait until after beta readers have some input before I slash and burn!
    • I corrected 95% of the perspective or point of view (POV) issues that I could find. I’ll fix the remaining ones after receiving beta feedback as depending on whether I keep a few small sections, the POV issues may disappear on their own.
    • Character and setting descriptions have been enhanced and made consistent throughout all chapters.
    • It will be released to a few beta readers this evening!

 

Next Steps: Plan for Next Few Weeks

  • Vacation: 9/17 thru 10/2 – No work to be done on Father Figure.
  • Round 2 Edits (beta feedback incorporation) will occur from 10/3 thru 10/20.

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • I am looking forward to putting this out of my focus for two weeks, but I’m also looking forward to jumping right back in on 10/3 to review beta feedback and begin Round 2 Editing. I hope it only takes 2 to 3 weeks to finish this effort, as I’d like to send it to agents and the publisher in early November, pending how much remaining work I have to do with Watching Glass Shatter, my first novel. I’m really excited to think about this second one coming to a conclusion, but also shocked that it will have taken just under 4 months to dream, write and edit a ~375 page novel.
  • In October, it will be time to start thinking about novel #3. I already have ideas, but I will not let myself work on it until  Watching Glass Shatter is on on the market and the initial 30 days of advertising and sales have occurred. Anyone interested in participating in another poll again to let readers and fans pick the third novel?
  • In November, Book Reviews, Blog Tours and Interviews will be the priority for Watching Glass Shatter, but I will also prepare an outline for novel #3. While Watching Glass Shatter starts to enter normal reader mode, around 12/1, I’d like to start writing again, assuming Father Figure’s edits are complete and in final stage review with the publisher.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she encounters a stranger who will change her life.
    • 2018 – Brianna Porter, 18, who lives in NYC, is struggling with understanding who she is.  She longs to escape her surroundings and leaves for college in Pennsylvania where she begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom she had a one-night stand, later finding herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret about her father and stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Advertisements

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 10 – Friday, September 8th, 2017)

Posted on Updated on

Did you ever have one of those weeks where things just don’t go as well as you planned? I finally had one, but it’s totally fine. It was a banner week in terms of becoming an author, but I had to split my time between Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure which meant I didn’t meet all my goals. Four of my five days this week were devoted to a holiday, returning from the short trip to LA and launching the new author website. As a result, I only had one day to work on the new novel, but I am really excited to present Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, September 8, 2017 – Week #10

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • I read thru 75% (285 of 380 pages) and edited them for all grammatical and spelling errors.
    • I marked 10 areas for content removal or reduction.
    • I cleaned up most of the point of view issues.

Next Steps: Plan for Week #11

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • Mon – Finish reading remaining 25% and correct grammar and spelling
    • Tues – Finish marking POV issues and content removal options
    • Wed – Fix POV issues
    • Thurs – Update character and setting descriptions throughout whole book
    • Fri – Remove and adjust areas of content change
  • Send first draft to 5 beta readers
  • Prepare for vacation 9/17 thru 10/1 – No work to be done on Father Figure!

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • I am behind this week, but I will finish on schedule next week. And I am excited to begin sharing it with beta readers.
  • I adore ~15 chapters in the middle where even as the author, I’m flipping pages so quickly because the suspense is killing me. Maybe it’s because I know the content, but to see what the characters go through seems really amazing. I feel like I found the right balance of dialogue and description to stop and start the thrills, it makes readers want to dive in. I could be wrong, but I think I might have done quite well in this section.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s encounters a stranger who will change her life.
    • 2018 – Brianna Porter, 18, who lives in NYC, is struggling with understanding who she is.  She longs to escape her surroundings and leaves for college in Pennsylvania where she begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns a shocking secret. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 175 – Current Job

Posted on Updated on

Current Job: job I currently hold, better known as, soon-to-be-author

writer

OK, so I’m not famous right now, but a boy can dream!

Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived

The current set of 5 Sundays covers the major groups of roles / jobs / positions I’ve held over my career. Though I have had about fifteen titles over the years, when I broke it down into smaller groups, week five is all about the job I currently hold: AUTHOR.

When I first organized this series of Sunday posts, I thought I’d end with the last one (technology), but I decided “a look to the future” was more important than a “summary of the past.” I had a post months ago with the word ‘writer‘ and don’t want to repeat myself. In that one, I talked about the steps a writer goes through. Today, I want to discuss the type of author I plan to be, as well as what I believe the role of an author should be among the crowd of a very saturated field full of brilliance.

writer

Every job has a purpose and a client. Nobody works without a reason or without someone to serve. It’s easy when you have a boss who guides your goals and work ethic. It’s not so easy when you are on your own trying to figure it out, or worse yet, have hundreds of people to satisfy. As an author, you are tasked with delivering a little bit of everything to a variety of personalities with a limitless set of perspectives and opinions. It can be quite scary or it can be very fulfilling. When I think about why I want to be an author, it’s fairly simple. I enjoy making people happy. And people includes myself.

As I go about my business each day, from cooking to mailing a letter, my mind is always active. I see characters, hear conversations, conjure up conflict. All because I am highly creative when it comes to building a world for other people. It’s almost like auto-pilot in some respects. When you have a physical or tangible job, you often don’t focus on each step, whether it’s lift the bucket, mix in the cement, pour the water, spread the paste… whatever it is you are doing as part of your job. It’s the same for me as an author. My fingers hit the keys. The pen releases ink. The words get saved. And somehow, a few hours later, there’s a finished chapter full of fantastic and not-so-fantastic content. It’s not as if I’m consciously typing away, thinking about every little word. Sometimes a character shows up with green eyes, and when I read it later, I wonder how did I decide on that? I didn’t stop while I was writing to say, “should they be blue or green?” When I edit, I might stumble upon a theme where I consciously change descriptions to present a more holistic image. But during that initial draft, it sometimes happens without me even knowing it.

In reality, I do know it. I know it because when I put the garbage out last night, I might have seen a green box in the recycle bin and stored it away for later use. It happens all the time. I heard a word someone says on the street and it shows up in dialogue the next morning. I feel a pain in my leg while working out and somehow incorporate that into a scene the following week. Things just happen for authors. At least for this author. It’s a beautiful thing, but no more beautiful than all the efforts everyone else puts in to complete their jobs day-in and day-out. What’s different for an author is figuring out how to make your readers happy. And that’s the important part for me. As much as I want to get some praise, build an amazing piece of literature or earn money, those are never the first things that come to mind when I think about why I want to be an author.

People need a break from life. They need to be entertained. They need to find knowledge. They need alternative opinions. They need to be inspired. They need to feel loved. They need to cry. They need to know things might not be okay at first but there’s always a tomorrow to look forward to. When I started the 365 Daily Challenge, and it was about my own thoughts and future, I was a little bit nervous to share so much about who I am. While I’m basically a good person, I have made mistakes, hurt others and failed to do the right thing. But so has everyone else. And so have the characters jumping from my head and on to the pages you read. And that’s where it comes together for me. I want my writing to speak to people in a way they didn’t know they needed. I want someone to find hope in their own struggles by seeing what happens to another person. I want to find inspiring words to help people figure out how to move forward with every aspect of their day. It might seem odd, but it’s what runs through my mind as I develop plot, setting and character descriptions.

When I’m officially published in less than two months, I feel I have a responsibility to carry this effort forward not only as a writer but as an author. And there’s a difference in those two words, at least for me. A writer creates fiction and non-fiction. But an author is someone who gives his/her life to their readers in a way that establishes a relationship. I want to be able to interact with readers, hear ideas, understand what they like and dislike. I enjoy getting messages across all the social media platforms making connections with people through every medium possible. Life is too short to sit in a locked room for hours every day, writing and writing until you get to the point that you have a brilliant piece of work, but no one to read it, to feel it, to embrace it… to share it with.

My goal as an author is to publish 3 books per year. That’s a lot. But I’ve always been an over-achiever. It takes me about 2 months to write and 2 months to outline and edit. At that rate, I could be successful in reaching the 3-book goal. Maybe it’ll be 5 every two years just to play it safe. In between, there is so much more. From networking to building a bridge with readers, not just online but in person. And for me, it can’t ever be about sitting in a bookstore signing a copy and saying “next.” That’s not who I am. I’d rather sell less books and meet people more frequently. I’d rather make enough money to survive and be happy before earning millions simply because people flock to it. What good is it to me if someone reads the book and I don’t know how they felt about it? I know I can’t connect with every reader, but I’ll certainly go as far as I possibly can with trying to.

And I hope some day to expand beyond fiction. Sure, I can write a mystery or romance or fantasy novel if I set my mind to it. But what if I can cross platforms through something that both helps people navigate their day and tells them a remarkable story. I woke up the other morning thinking about a book I feel the need to write. It’s basically “The Adventures & Lessons of X.” We are all “X” in this novel. Like the 365 Daily Challenge, it would be a frequent and regular story full of characters just like us, but with an opportunity to show people the brighter side of life. And I feel like that’s what could set me apart from being just “another writer” versus “an author who make a difference.” And I mean no offense to writers in the former description. They are brilliant and valuable for everything they deliver. But that’s not who I am. My mind is already plotting out the next iteration of the 365 Daily Challenge. I think it needs to be an electronic-only installment series based on fictional characters who go through life, facing the challenges we all face. Maybe meant to start with someone in teenage years, learning all about how to live the best life possible. Not a self-help book. Not a list of things to do. A shared connection between me and readers that helps us all find someone to relate to on many levels.

Perhaps I make no sense. Perhaps this resonates. In the end, the only truth I want to get across here is that my greatest hope in this new and hopefully final role of my career, which will extend for a very long time, as an author, is to truly deliver what readers want to receive. With that, I’ll sign off, as I’ve gotten more philosophical than I planned. Thank you for listening and being so incredibly supportive. I am blessed.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 9 – Friday, September 1st, 2017)

Posted on

I am heading out of town for a long weekend getaway feeling absolutely thrilled with the current state of this book. I am really excited to present Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, September 1, 2017 – Week #9

  • Chapters 27 thru 28
    • The goal was achieved. By Monday morning, the first draft of the book was complete at 345 pages, 28 chapters and 103K words. It felt amazing to know that I had accomplished so much in so little time (9 weeks!). I shut down the laptop by mid-afternoon to give myself off from writing the rest of the day. A break was in need… at least until I began reading it Tuesday morning. :O
  • Chapters 29 thru 32
    • My first editing step was to count the pages for each chapter. I suddenly found that while chapters 6 thru 28 each held between 9 and 13 pages, there were vast differences in the page count for chapters 1 thru 5. One chapter had 32 pages while another had 28. Unacceptable! I spent the morning fixing the outline and ultimately decided to split a few chapters in half and add in more content to balance the story. It needed to hold 50% focus on each of the two primary characters. By Thursday, I drafted an additional 40 pages so that we now stand at a fully completed first draft with 385 pages, 32 chapters and 111K words. Yes, it needs to be reduced by at least ten percent before I let anyone review it during the first beta reading phase.
  • Round 1 Edit
    • I skim-read the entire novel on Friday morning to make notes on all the physical characteristics about each character and every location or setting, verifying consistency and noting any holes.

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #10

  • Round 1 Edit – The First Draft
    • When I return after Labor Day, I will begin the re-read process. Below are the steps I plan for next week:
      • Tues / Wed – Read the entire novel from start to finish to fix any grammar or spelling issues
      • Thurs – Highlight areas that are weak, e.g. candidates to cut or re-write
      • Thurs – Update character and setting descriptions throughout whole book
      • Fri – Highlight areas where the POV or Perspective is inconsistent
  • Finalize who will be the list of the first 3 to 5 beta readers
    • I will be ready to share between 9/17 – 10/1 while I’m in North Carolina and Florida on vacation.
    • If you have time to read while I’m away to provide feedback when I return, private message me on Twitter, Facebook or jamescudney4@yahoo.com.

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • The ending is no longer in debate. As I finished writing the last chapter yesterday, I stumbled upon a hidden gem I’d left in a few previous chapters that needed to be tidied up a bit. A surge of beauty formed inside my head, leading me to write a conclusion that I absolutely adore. I might even be happy enough with it that I don’t feel the need to consider an alternative ending that would enable me to write a sequel. As much as I love these characters, I think I successfully told the whole story. But we shall see once the beta readers get hold of it.
  • I seem to find myself always saying the same two lines when describing certain character actions: (1) I have this weird affinity to explain how someone is laughing or crying, or (2) I have a constant need to say when someone sits or stands. It’s a bit funny, given it happens at least twice per chapter. I will definitely need to fix this during the editing stage. I don’t think anyone cares about those two actions that much!

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s encounters a stranger who will change her life.
    • 2018 – Brianna Porter, 18, who lives in NYC, is struggling with understanding who she is.  She longs to escape her surroundings and leaves for college in Pennsylvania where she begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns the shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

My Novel: ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ — Listed on Goodreads

Posted on Updated on

Beginning today, my novel, ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ is officially listed on Goodreads as a book. The cover is currently in design phase while the publisher begins to create the formats for paperback and electronic readers. I will keep you posted on the progress in the coming weeks. For now, you can find the link below to see the book on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36140949-watching-glass-shatter?ac=1&from_search=true

 

My author website is in development but will be another WordPress website you can follow. You can reach the link at:  https://jamescudney4.com

Watching Glass Shatter

Beginning today, my novel, ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ is officially listed on Goodreads as a book. The cover is currently in design phase while the publisher begins to create the formats for paperback and electronic readers. I will keep you posted on the progress in the coming weeks. For now, you can find the link below to see the book on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36140949-watching-glass-shatter?ac=1&from_search=true

goodreads

As we begin to create a marketing and publishing plan, I will start a weekly post on “Watching a Glass Shatter” just like I’m doing on “Father Figure.” If you’d like to get involved at any point, I’m absolutely open to help from friends and fans. Success is not built on one person’s back alone, but on the collaboration of a brilliant team of people dedicated to making a difference.

My author website is in development but will be another WordPress website you can follow. You can reach…

View original post 600 more words

My Novel: Father Figure (Week 8 – Friday, August 25th, 2017)

Posted on Updated on

It’s been an extraordinary week full of intense focus and free-flowing words to the point that I nearly doubled the quantity I expected to complete this week. I’m still in a bit of shock, but the scariest part is as of this afternoon, I’ve completed 27 out 28 planned chapters. And I plan to finish writing the final chapters by Monday afternoon so that I can say the first draft is done. Don’t ask how it happened, just be glad! Without any further ado, I present to you Father Figure’s weekly status:

writer

Status:  Friday, August 25, 2017 – Week #8

  • Chapters 17 thru 22
    • The goal was achieved. I actually completed the most complex portions of the novel, where all the major actions happen. It was a bit of an emotional week, living through what happened to these characters. As I was channeling the mindset when someone goes through what these wonderful extensions of my world have encountered, I found myself actually feeling depressed and excited. It’s only then that you can accept you’ve maybe dug deep enough to produce a solid story with good writing.
  • Chapters 23 thru 26
    • I wrote 4 additional chapters this week that hadn’t been planned. I’d finished my original commitment by mid-day Wednesday and decided to just “push” it, as many of you read in one of the 365 Daily Challenge posts earlier this week. These chapters were difficult, as I had to deal with the repercussions of all the drama and conflict unfolding. It’s a bit like throwing a halfway assembled puzzle into the air and finding that when it all comes falling down around you, you can see more clearly what needs to happen to finish it.
  • Favorite Line
    • One of the lines that just fell from my lips, which I hadn’t even thought of or considered during the outline, feels like a contender for my favorite one:
    • “All you’ve ever done is build a plan for my life so that you have something to regret when it falls apart. I am not the practice game for trying to figure out what you should have done with yours in the first place.”

 

 

Next Steps: Plan for Week #9

  • Write chapter 28 to finish a complete first draft of the novel pre-editing. I expect it to end up at 350 pages or about 108K words. I also expect to open a bottle of champagne at dinner on Monday evening when it’s completed as a little toast to such a major accomplishment.
    • Nine (9) weeks ago you voted for the premise of Father Figure as my next novel. I had some vague ideas of what I needed to accomplish, but nothing concrete. And it took me three (3) weeks to outline and (5) five weeks to write the whole novel — only because of everyone’s faith in me. Thank you.
  • Round 1 Edit:
    • Re-read all 28 chapters and make notes for what needs to change, move or go
    • Highlight by color each of the different character and scene descriptions to ensure everything matches across the length of the novel
    • Finalize who will be the list of the first 3 to 5 beta readers
      • I might be ready to send out a few chapters to folks the day I leave for a trip to visit family in Louisiana 9/2 thru 9/5. If not then, it will be 9/17 – 10/1 while I’m in North Carolina and Florida.
      • If you have time to read while I’m away to provide feedback when I return, private message me on Twitter, Facebook or jamescudney4@yahoo.com.

 

What’s on the author’s mind?

  • The ending is still in heated debate. Two people have read chapters 1 and 2. A different set of two people are the only two people who have any idea what the whole story is thus far and what I’m considering doing if it’s a single book versus a potential series. Both of those people separately advised me to write the final chapter from both perspectives, which is double the work. But it might be double the pay off, so I plan to do this on Monday before I close out the first draft. I probably won’t let beta readers see both versions, perhaps just the one that sounds the best. But at least I have a fallback plan. Thoughts?
  • I’m learning more about myself from writing this book. When Amalia encounters her first conflict, I thought about what I’d do in her situation. Then I thought about what a girl her age in that situation might do. It seems I might have a few things in common with an 18 year girl from a small Ohio town. Who woulda thunk it? Not sure what it says about me either… ugh, life is quite a paradox.
  • I gained some confidence this week. I’ve written tons of book openings, outlines, and even gotten as far as writing a third of a few novels I never actually completed, before this one. But on Monday, I will have two fully written 350+ page novels under my belt. And you know what? I’m pretty darn excited and proud that I can accomplish a goal when I set my mind to it. My writing style has improved. My voice has grown strong. My perspective on life has changed for the better. I can’t tell you how much happier of a person I am by choosing this route for the future.

 

Meryl Streep is my favorite actress, so this is me right now!

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of Father Figure (only read if you’re new to the book)

  • One young girl’s need to escape the mundane life she’s grown up in and another young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances they’ve both been placed in due to decisions and actions occurring nearly 20 years ago and that both women have made in the present. How well do you really know your parents? Do they truly understand you? Can you ever truly escape the past?
  • A contemporary fiction novel set in two time periods with two primary characters:
    • 1998 – Amalia Graeme, about to turn 18, attends college, leaving behind a mother with whom she had a difficult relationship. While Amalia has a boyfriend, Carter, she’s secretly attracted to an older professor, Dr. Jonah West. She begins an affair with him and realizes she must come clean to her boyfriend. After she tells the boyfriend, they have a huge fight and she leaves to find Jonah who she thinks can comfort her. Along the path, she’s attacked by a stranger and her life is never the same again. Amalia makes a few choices which will later have disastrous consequences.
    • 2018 – Amalia, going by Molly and living in NYC, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Just like her mother, Brianna begins dating one of her professors, probably looking for a father figure, as she’s never met her real father. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man with whom Molly had a one-night stand and later found herself pregnant with no way to find him. When Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal, she learns the shocking secret that her mother never knew who the father was because it could have been more than one man. As Brianna searches for clues to find her father, she stumbles upon a few facts which could completely change the future. But when the stranger who attacked her mother re-surfaces, not even Molly knows if she can protect her daughter anymore.

 

About Me
I am a writer. I am have signed a contract for a publisher on my first book, Watching a Glass Shatter. To see more, please check out the website for this novel where you will find the first 3 chapters, character bios and sample quotes.

I am writing my second novel, Father Figure, with plans to finish and submit it to a publisher in November, 2017. As part of the process to engage with my fans and followers, I am publishing a weekly status on the progress of this second book. For a description of this book, check out the post where my friends and followers voted for this book as my second novel.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 165 – Push

Posted on Updated on

Push: to exert force on (someone or something), typically with one’s hand, in order to move them away from oneself or the origin of the force

push.jpg

You will always encounter a roadblock or a deadline where you need to simply push through until you find a solution or achieve the goal. Sometimes it’s easy, but it can also be difficult. Maybe you have the pressure being forced upon you by someone else, or perhaps you’ve given yourself a deadline to get something done. Knowing your limits is key to success. But failing to see your potential might prevent you from reaching it more than you know. There is time to push yourself even if it feels scary.

Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is meant to turn your world upside down a little. Have you ever thought to yourself that you can only get so much done in a specific period of time? Or scheduled a goal that is realistic and reasonable, yet feels like it’s not enough? When I assigned myself the deadline to finish writing a first draft of my second book, Father Figure, I assumed 3 chapters per week could be written and edited. When I did the math, I ended up with a 9/30 deadline. Then I scheduled a vacation from 9/17 thru 10/1, which meant that completing Father Figure needed a new deadline. Scary thoughts.

But I told myself I could push through it and complete the first draft by 9/16, then let it sit for two weeks while I was away. Both the novel and I needed some time to relax, find our heart and prepare for a vicious round of editing. So I upped it to 4 chapters per week and re-set the deadline to 9/16. I got this. I’m good under pressure. For some reason, I felt the need to push myself a little harder. I love these characters. I breathe the air that they breathe right now. And I wanted to spend more time with them. Push. Push. Push. Through it, I kept motivating myself.

As you’re aware from last Friday’s status update, I decided to give myself a goal to finish 6 chapters this week and next week so that I could be done writing a first draft by 9/1, and then spend the first half of September editing it. I finished 6 chapters today at 12 noon, meaning I met the deadline I had doubled in half the time I’d planned. And then I said…. go for it. I pushed harder and wrote another chapter this afternoon, leaving me only 5 more to go before I can say it’s done. If I were a betting man, which I am known to be, I think I’m capable of pushing myself to write those 5 chapters tomorrow and Friday so that I have a first draft of the whole book by the end of this week, leaving me 3 full weeks to edit before I leave on vacation.

No, I am not bragging. I promise you. I have no idea how the quality is despite my faith in the quantity I am capable of delivering. But there is a great lesson here… sometimes it’s okay to push yourself. When you push yourself, you learn how far your boundaries can truly be tested. This doesn’t apply for all situations, all people and all times. But when you have a passion and a goal, and you can skim a few minutes off of all the things that steal your time away, imagine the capabilities you can unlock within yourself. I couldn’t keep up this pressure 24/7 every day of every year. But when things line up in the right way, we are all capable of pushing ourselves towards a safe and secure path.

It’s your life to choose what you want to do or how you want to live it. When you push through a little bit of pain and worry, sometimes you find the gold at the end of your own rainbow. I’m keeping this post shorter than usual today because I’m pushing towards my goal to complete this novel by the weekend. If at any point I feel the quality is truly suffering or I’m in any sort of pain (physical or emotional), I’ll back down. But if I can do this in an environment where I have friends and family to catch me if I fall, then it’s all the more reason to give myself the push I didn’t know I needed. That I didn’t know I deserved. Thank you to everyone for believing in me. I appreciate you.

A push to help a friend, or shove to knock him down? You decide!

Now it’s my turn to believe in you. What can you do to push yourself in the next few days towards achieving one of your goals — in a safe and secure environment — to see how strong you really are? I have confidence. So should you. Let it roll…

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.