Saturday, October 24, 2015

A NaNoWriMo Cure?

So I had a really rough year so far. My mother-in-law- passed away and then my own mother not three weeks later. With my husband and children reeling it was all I could do to keep our home functioning at a reasonably normal level...and that was ALL I could do.

I managed to get my second novel in to the publisher in by the deadline, but only just. It was LITERALLY the actual deadline date.  That is so unusual for my Type-A self and let me tell you, it was a miracle.

But something happened to me. I don't know if it was the stress or sorrow or the way I just stuffed everything down to get through the days...whatever it was that I did to survive until sort of fritzed me out.

So I am floundering. I have an outline that I've really, really, REALLY, fought to get done. I have an encouraging spouse and critique partner rooting for me. 

I have the scenes in my head. I CAN SEE THEM. 

Feel them. Hear them. I can practically TASTE them!

And yet I sit at my laptop and wrestle through doubt and critical thoughts and insecurity. I write and delete and repeat.  I am getting nowhere.

Then my NaNoWriMo buddies started emailing. I started to get pumped. I started to feel excited and engaged and even...ambitious again.

So I am going to do NaNo this year with a vengeance. I usually join for the kids in my writing class and spend most of my time on forums and encouraging others. This time I am doing NaNo for me.

I am committing to me time. To my story.  To the idea that digging in and believing in myself will bust me out of this funk.  

If you all are doing NaNo add me as a writing buddy. We can do this crazy thing together.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Welcome to another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group conceived by illustrious Ninja Captain, Alex J. CavanaughOur Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

Also, for the IWSG members, don't forget about the Anthology Contest -- Open now until November 1st 2015.

So this month finds me grappling with the reality that writing a synopsis for book three before even writing book one was a MAJOR waste of time.  *sigh*

Yes, it was required as part of the submission process. And I knew going into writing the synopses for the trilogy that I would most likely go off script...but wow!  The end of book two sort of--happened. I love it compared to what I had originally planned, but now the beginning of the third book doesn't make sense. all. *rolls eyes at self*

So now I have to go back and strip down my plot blocks to what I know I can keep. The think is I don't want to make the same mistake again and overthink it.

Anyway, this is a new one for me and could really use some help from you guys. How do you all deal with a book that kind of goes its own way on you?

+Raquel Byrnes

Friday, October 2, 2015

7 Ladies Who Became Unexpected Legends

You know those people that hide in the background of parties or classrooms or life? The quiet ones that out of nowhere end up being a total hellion right when its needed? For me, it began with THE TREMBLERS heroine Charlotte. The path to stop a terrible disaster takes her from quiet debutante to treasonous rebel and for her, there’s no turning back - and she’s just getting started. Here are 6 ladies that stepped up when in mattered most!

1. Hermione from Harry Potter


By the end of the series she was known as The Witch of Her Age, but we knew her back when she was an awkward, frizzy-haired, bookworm. Here’s to brains over brawn!

2. Agent Carter from Captain America


When she first walked into our lives, Peggy Carter was all victory rolls, red nails, and impeccable uniform. Yet when it came down to it, she could certainly hold her own.

3. Charlotte Blackburn from The Tremblers


When those your world falls apart and you lose the ones you love, you get to the point where you have to embrace the monsters inside yourself to survive. Charlotte tears a swath of destruction throughout the Peaceful Union but we ABSOLUTELY get why. You cant help hoping she survives the TREMBLERS and makes it out of it alive...she totally deserves it at this point.

4. Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones


Daenerys moved from girl sold into marriage to Mother of Dragons intent on claiming her rightful place on the Iron Throne. Beautiful, smart, and strong. We can’t help but cheer her on.

5. Arwen from The Lord of The Rings


She first galloped into our hearts as she rode ahead of the Black Riders with Frodo in tow. Who can forget her bravery and poise in the face of those terrible beasts? “If you want him, come and claim him.” What nerves of steel.

6. Buffy Summers


No self respecting list of legendary ladies is complete without Sunnydale’s own Buffy Summers. Cheerleader to vampire slayer, this heroine doesn’t run and hide.

Fired up to cheer for the next unexpected legend? Check out this GOODREADS list of Books with Fabulous Female Leads and be on the lookout for my upcoming YA Steampunk, THE TREMBLERS coming soon!