A Novel New Post

It’s been ages since I posted anything here, yet again. I apologize for being so slow to post things, but as it stands, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with a new job starting, among other things!

That said, let me tell you about the novel I’m posting to Wattpad. If you want to learn more, you’ll find the link to my story, Anti-Hero, here. You’re more than welcome to join the Wattpad community, read my story, and see for yourself what my current project has become so far.

Here’s a little more about the story before you decide to commit either way!

 

Anti-Hero is the story of an alternate universe earth, specifically an alternate universe United States. It’s in the Southern states, also known as the Bible belt, that the story takes place. This is where the diseased of the country have holed away from the rest of society behind walls put up for the protection of “normal” citizens.

It was the Bible belt that became afflicted by the disease in the 1960s and 1970s. It began as a simple enough STD and grew into something much more complex. As more people became affected, it was clear the disease was something more than just an STD.

Those who experienced the disease began developing psychic and physical super powers that manifested at random, causing shock and awe in those witnessing the effects. However, as with all STDs, this one too has been shown to wreak havoc on the person’s immune system, weakening it to the point of a slow death in older sufferers.

We come into the story during a time when the “second generation” of diseased have grown up and begun their own families, seemingly safe behind the walls of the Bible belt and away from the oversight of an increasingly militaristic government.

Unfortunately for Kaitlyn Harmon, the daughter of first gens who passed the disease on to her, she has been put in the middle of the military’s decision to stop the birth of third gens and the rebels who want nothing to do with the “normals” on the other side of the wall and actively fight against cooperation with the government. Kait works with her parents in the Center for Sexual Disease Control, where she uses her disease to help the passage of third gens between the Bible belt and normal territory as they are “adapted and adopted” into normal families.

When military leaders decree the Center’s efforts to round up the third gens not enough, the results are a trip to somewhere Kait never expected with a team of military men on a secondary mission that they may find meets somewhere in the middle. As the truth about their missions and the lives of the third gens sent to the other side of the wall comes out, Kait and her coworker Tim have to determine who they can trust to get them through the trip they’ve taken unscathed.

And in the process, they begin unraveling the depth of Kait’s disease and the power she has.

 

There you have it. That’s all you get. I hope it’s intriguing enough to set you on the path to Wattpad to enjoy my story, but if not, that’s fine, too. Feel free to leave me a comment about the blurb. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

So far I have about five chapters posted and somewhere around 14 or 16 chapters written with more to come as I tackle Camp NaNoWriMo in July to add to my story. I’m looking forward to finishing Kait’s story!

– RaeNez

The Perks of Part-Time

I mentioned in my last post I wanted to share a little of my vision for this blog and where I see myself going with it in the coming months. Now it’s time to share some news and give you that information. So, with no further ado…

I got a new job!

Yes, the turnaround on that was remarkably short, and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to tell you this. And as of right this moment, I haven’t started said job. I’m still waiting for paperwork to be processed. However, I’m incredibly hopeful that will be taken care of quickly and they’ll clear me to start working within the next few days.

What does that mean for me, my work, my writing, and this blog?

Well, first of all, it means income, a huge blessing considering how low I’ve been running these last couple of weeks. Fernando is thrilled about my new opportunity because it will take some of the financial pressure off of us, and that will make things much simpler for us.

Second, it means a shift in my work-life balance. This is totally different from how I have been working in the past. Normally I look for full-time jobs and positions where I can maximize my income, advance in the company and work diligently until better opportunities come along.

This isn’t that job.

In fact, this is entirely different, and I think it will make my work-life balance so much better in the short term and long run that it will positively affect a lot of areas in my life.

I say that because this isn’t a position I pursued. Inadvertently, yes, but this time around, no. Let me explain.

I got a call from the local school system about a resume I put in before Fernando and I were married for a clerical position that never panned out. The woman worked in a different department entirely and needed clerical help, wanted to interview me for a part-time position, and asked if I was still available. I agreed to the interview.

I came in and sat down for a chat, and before I knew it, I was really interested in the position. Not only will the position be a clerical one at 28 hours per week, but I may, upon proof of my performance, have the opportunity to split those 28 hours between clerical work and a higher paying position–specifically ESL teaching!

So when I got the call that I’d gotten the call, I was pretty excited. It’s with the county school system, which means it’s through the state. So even though the state is pretty adamant they don’t want to hire anyone more than 28 hours because they’d have to pay for insurance (thanks Obamacare); there’s the potential for a higher paying job within the criteria of 28 hours per week.

I’m looking forward to this opportunity, though, because it opens the door to a number of things I haven’t let myself consider.

  • I’ll be able to spend time on my novel writing and work on publishing some of it after doing rewrites and edits, which will be a great exercise in moving towards being a real author.
  • I may get back into a full-fledged TEFL Certificate course (120-hour accredited online program) and earn my certificate to gain more traction in the ESL teaching community and market myself better.
  • Fernando and I are even talking about both of us going back to college (he for another bachelor’s, me for a master’s), which would be a crazy risk to take but totally worth it, right?

All of this said, the job will allow me to do things to promote myself as an author, explore job options I might not otherwise explore, and be present in my marriage with Fernando.

And this makes me very happy indeed. 

I think the key to keeping up with my blog is simply to have and make time for it. You’ll see in the coming weeks that I’ll be posting about the books I’m currently working on. I’ll be writing about the plans I have to market myself, and I’ll be adding news links to this blog.

Fernando is also talking about making me a real author website once he’s finished teaching himself HTML.

How cool would that be?

In the meantime, I think I’ll take Dobby the House Corgi out for a walk and work on some writing, some reading, and maybe do a bit of dabbling in photography. Because in the end, anything I do to learn how to market myself is better than nothing, right?

– RaeNez

P.S. My mood might be slightly buoyed by the fact I tried my hand at a Paleo recipe last night that turned out fabulously. I made DIY chocolate bars (similar to Hershey’s chocolate bars) from unsweetened cocoa, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and (the best part!) sea salt.

Mouthwatering!! And, yes, I chopped them into bite-sizes, just like Hershey’s… I could get used to this. 🙂

Fun Times with Great Authors

I know, I know… this isn’t quite about a job.

But, hear me out. I haven’t found a new job yet. So until I do, my posts may not be quite job related. At least I applied to three new jobs today, right? Right?

Okay, okay…

So let me share some fun news with all of y’all out there. I happen to be a rather heavy reader. I read a lot in general, and I read even more when I’m stressed. Now, bear with me, I’m not exactly stressed, but when I don’t know what to do, I either read or write, and this week has been a combination of reading and writing.

(More about the writing later.)

That said, I read two books this week that made me stop and pause. I read one book on Wattpad, and it was by this fabulous author named Lauren Nicolle Taylor, who just so happens to be Australian and has three subsequent novels in her series.

The series called The Woodlands by Lauren Taylor is a fascinating YA dystopian set in a rather unique version of the world that I can’t quite wrap my brain around. (Honest – I spent some time during the book trying to figure out if the main characters lived in a colony in Brazil or Russia. You read it and tell me if you have the same questions!)

The hyperlink above should take you directly to the first book in the series (also titled The Woodlands) on Wattpad where you can read the whole story. I won’t tell you too much about it other than to say that I’m a sucker for dystopian novels and have been ever since I read 1984 as a high schooler.

That said, Taylor’s Twitter account (which I follow) was updated recently to recommend a book by another author, E.R. Arroyo, that was out for free on all eBook readers with perhaps one exception (that being Nook, I think).

So what’s an unemployed lady to do when faced with free eBooks recommended by an already acclaimed (to her eyes) author? Obviously download and read Sovereign, the first book in Arroyo’s series.

You’re probably thinking, yeah, this is boring.

But wait! There’s more!

Yesterday, I finished Sovereign just in time to notice that Taylor had Tweeted about a Facebook event the two author’s were doing where they were switching pages with one another and promoting their books on each other’s pages. (Weird, I know… who does that?) And then I saw the bright, shiny word: giveaways!

I slavishly went back and forth on Facebook for two hours last night looking at their pages and commenting on each giveaway post in the hopes of winning a shiny.

And guess what?

I won giveaways from both authors! Do you know how cool that is? Do you know how rare it is that I win giveaways…especially giveaways of things that I actually want??

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve won a giveaway and the number of times it’s been an item I wanted. I’ve won precisely two giveaways in my life. Once was a bottle of ant-killer at the local community fair. (Yeah… the enthusiasm is oozing off me as I type that.) The other time was at a local strip mall where I won a $75 gift certificate to a ridiculously ritzy steak restaurant called Flemings. (I totally went there on my 21st birthday with my best friend and spent more than double that – thank you, gift certificate!)

To recap what I won – from Arroyo, I won eBook copies of both her books Sovereign and The Offering; however, I’m only taking the second one since I’ve already got a copy of the first. From Taylor, I won an eBook copy of the second book in her series, The Wall. She’s even already sent me the epub version for my iPad.

I can’t tell you how cool I think this is. I can’t tell you how excited I am about these authors and their work. And I can’t express how much I want to be these authors someday: doing giveaways and Facebook page swaps for fans and simply being this awesome.

Also, if you have a chance and are interested in YA dystopian fiction (think Hunger Games series or Divergent series by Veronica Roth), I would recommend  either of these authors as an excellent alternative to the norm in YA with a number of fun twists in their writing that will keep you riveted to the page.

Granted, I haven’t finished either series, but for the first novels, that’s high praise coming from me.

All right, enough from me. I’m off to sleep and then to do more writing so I can be that writer someday.

RaeNez

A Time for Change

I’ll admit it. I’m not great with posting here.

There, I said it.

I want to get better, though. I’d eventually like to use this as a means to both blog and tell you more about who I am, what I’m doing, how Fernando and I are doing in our first year of marriage, and where else you can find me in the wonderful wide world of the Web.

So you may start seeing some changes in the coming weeks. I can’t promise anything new right away. That would be too much too fast, right?

I’d like to revamp my blog, change the background and style and make it more me.

There’s a reason for this, of course. Are you ready?

I’m hoping to start a new job Monday (Yay!!) where I’ll be training to be a director at a prominent weight loss clinic that’s moving to town. It’s new to the area, and if you know me or the area, you’d be able to figure it out fairly quickly. I’ll start training Monday and be in training for two weeks until I’m able to take on the role of director of my own facility.

It’s a challenge, a change, and a scary endeavor.

I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

However, I also want to start posting a story to Wattpad. If you haven’t heard of Wattpad, it’s one of the easiest posting forums on the internet today for writers. The website is an online venue for posting stories, whether they are original fiction, non-fiction, or fanfiction. Thousands of stories are posted there on a regular basis and are available for public consumption.

Why do I want to post a story to Wattpad?

Well, there are a few reasons.

First: I would like to get some feedback on my fiction. Now, I understand that I might get nothing, no feedback, no comments, no reads. But I might get some feedback, and this is what I’m looking for. I also understand not all feedback is useful, but if I can get even a glimmer of useful information and criticism to work with, then I feel it would be worth it.

Second: I’m writing a story in a totally different vein from any of my previous novels. It’s written in first person, which is nothing I’m comfortable with as far as fiction goes. It’s about something I’m not comfortable writing (specifically super powers – which borders on the realm of sci-fi if you ask me). It covers subject matter and a message I haven’t quite captured yet and am not entirely certain of the direction, which makes me somewhat nervous. But I want to put it out there and see what I get out of the experience.

Third: I’m planning to be like every person who writes on Wattpad these days and use the website as a tool for building a platform where I can gain traction and a readership. If people like me and follow me, then I feel confident they’ll be more inclined to follow me should I choose to self-publish at some time in the future.

So there you have it.

I’m going to be on Wattpad. When I start posting, I’ll probably feature my author page and the actual book here for potential reads, but I don’t want to put anyone off who wants to read about my escapades as a new director at a weight loss clinic, either!

And, in fact, let me dish a bit more on that before I end this post. In the interest of change, I’ll be undergoing my own bit of personal change with the clinic. Because they want to have all employees familiar with the program, I and the other director and counselors will be weighed and measured as part of our training and given a “healthy weight loss” that we can achieve as part of the program.

For the first two weeks of our employment, we’ll all be participating in the program in order to better help our clients understand the ins and outs of the program and to tell them, “I’ve been there, too!” Sooo, I guess I get to start my own weight loss program on Monday or Tuesday as well! You’ll get an updated post about how that will be going here shortly since I’m certain to share all the fun details with you about my weight and what I lose on the two weeks that I’m on the program.

Since I’m being honest, I could probably stand to lose a good 15 pounds to get down to a nice goal weight that would make me look incredibly sexy.

Yep, you read that right.

I’d be sexy.

Fernando would approve either way since he tends to think I’m sexy regardless. But the upside is that I’d also be able to fit into smaller clothes (in theory), and I’d feel a little less like a sloth.

Right now, I’m about 5’6″ tall and roughly 160 pounds of awesome.

So give me 5’6″ and 145 pounds of awesome, and I could do some serious damage.

But come Tuesday (I think – depends on when the equipment comes in), we’ll see where I measure and what the company thinks I can stand to lose.

I’m kind of looking forward to it!

Onward to change,

– RaeNez