Books

Am I High? NaNo 2017 Update

Only one week of NaNoWriMo left, and I am dismally behind. But I’m not even upset about my poor word count. You know why? Because I’m finally writing again! It’s been so long, and it just feels so good to be back! I imagine this is what it must be like to be high. I’ll be going about my day, doing normal activities, and suddenly, an intense happiness washes over my brain. It’s almost like writing gets me high on words. And I don’t even have to be currently writing. My brain is just so full of words and worlds right now. Even though I’m not winning (and, let’s be honest, probably never will), NaNo definitely motivates me and helps me crank out those few words a day. Slowly but surely, I’m working my way through my manuscript rewrites, and it’s such a wonderful feeling! 

How does writing make you feel? Excited? Stressed? Or, if you’re not a writer, what is an activity that gets you high?

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Books · Writing

Reading, Writing, and Goals

There have been a lot of changes for me over the past year, but I am finally finding some time to do the things I love: reading and writing. I recently started reading the Harry Potter series for the first time, and I’m loving it so far! I know, it’s crazy that I haven’t read it before this, but my parents thought it promoted witchcraft, so what can I say. (I may be blogging about my thoughts on this when I finish the series). What is one book or series that a lot of people are surprised you haven’t read yet?

I have been trying my hardest to catch up on the massive to-read pile I have, but I somehow keep buying books that I now need to read… It’s becoming a bit of a problem. Fortunately, I have started listening to some books, so that’s been helping. There’s a fantastic website called LibriVox where you can find most public domain books free on audiobook. They are read by volunteers so sometimes they’re poor quality, but I have found quite a few great ones there, and am slowly making my way through the classics on my list. 

And now on to writing news…

It has been a long-time goal of mine to be a published author before I turn twenty. I recently turned nineteen, so that deadline is now less than a year away. I finished the first draft of Something More over a year ago, but there is still a lot of work to be done. It is still very rough, and I anticipate several more drafts before it will come close to seeing the light of day. I am hoping to have the second and possibly third draft done by the end of 2017. If all goes as planned I will be looking for beta readers early in the new year, so if anyone is interested please sign up for my newsletter to stay updated on that. 

I am participating in NaNoWriMo next month, but I will be rewriting Something More instead of starting a new project. I’d like to get the second draft done, but I’ll be away for the first week of November, so we’ll see how that goes. If you’re doing NaNo and you’d like to add me, my username is Lena_Kk

In other news, I just set up a Facebook author page, so if you’re on Facebook please check it out and give it a like! Lena Karynn Tesla – Author 

Books · Writing

Farewell, 2015; Welcome, 2016!

I can’t believe it’s been 2016 for over two weeks now! I guess time flies when you’re old… 😉 Anyway, I wanted to give you all a brief recap of 2015, and share some goals for 2016. I’m going to warn you, there will be many lists. That’s just how my mind works. Now let’s start with some 2015 stats:

  • I read fifty-eight books
  • I wrote over 25,000 words (I know that may not seem like a lot, especially to you 50,000-words-a-month writers, but it’s more than I’ve ever done before)
  • I reviewed fourteen books
  • I wrote forty-three blog posts
  • I gained sixty-three new followers
  • I sent out two newsletters

Alright, now that’s out of the way, on to the more fun stuff!

Of all the books I read, my favorite was probably, hmm… Ok, never mind. Let’s go with the top five.

  • Thy Kingdom Come, by Daniel Adorno
  • Holding the Future Hostage, by Tialla Rising
  • Richard III, by William Shakespeare
  • But Who Would Be Dumb Enough to Even Try It, by Enclave Publishing authors
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy, by Irving Stone

These were all great books and I highly recommend them! (Except maybe The Agony and the Ecstasy, unless you’re a mature reader and really into Michelangelo).

A few other highlights of 2015:

  • I was accepted to my top colleges. Now for the decision-making…
  • I survived a five-day backpacking trip through the mountains, which included hiking half the night down a steep trail in the pitch black, and clambering down wet, slippery rock beside a roaring gorge. Yeah, not repeating that experience.
  • I also survived nine days of intense, college-level honors classes, studying the Socratic method.
  • I participated in two NaNo Camps and the November NaNoWriMo.
  • On a less impressive note, I got Twitter. Yay; follow me! 😀

Looking ahead to 2016: 

Well, as you may have guessed, I did not finish the first draft of Something More in 2015, so that will be my top priority for early 2016. As soon as I’ve accomplished that, I will commence work on the first draft of Book Two. I’d ultimately like to have the entire trilogy drafted by the end of this year. We’ll see how that goes…

I will also be graduating from homeschool in the spring, and attending college this fall.
* cue hysterical screaming *
On a more serious note, this will be a huge change for me, so I could really use any prayers you send my way.

 

I’ll also be sending out a newsletter soon, recapping 2015 in more detail, and giving a few more exciting peeks into what I have planned for 2016 (including an awesome collage of Something More inspired pictures), so if you haven’t signed up for it yet, now would be the time. I will also be hosting a giveaway (most likely an Amazon gift card) when I reach 25 newsletter subscribers, so tell your friends too.

 

Get exclusive content and exciting opportunities when you sign up for my newsletter!

Books · Writing

NaNoWriMo Writing Update #1, by Narina

Hello! Let me introduce myself! I’m Narina, one of Lekhaka’s Characters. (You would know her as Lena, I believe). I have the pleasure of being here instead of Lekhaka, since she is currently suffering from some disease called NaNoWriMo – I guess it’s something authors get…

Anyway, she asked me to write this blog post for her to let everyone know that she is still alive. No, wait. I was supposed to tell you how her writing is going. That was it!

She has just started week four of this NaNoWriMo thing (I think it stands for National Novel Writing Month, or something like that. It still sounds like an illness to me…). She is a little behind, having written only 5578 words so far this month, but she’s hoping to get a lot of writing in during her Thanksgiving break from school. She’s still less than a quarter done with the first book in her trilogy, Something More, but if she writes hard instead of watching The Beverly Hillbillies during the last week and a half of November, she may still finish this year. (I don’t think I was supposed to mention The Beverly Hillbillies. Hopefully she doesn’t see this… 😉 ).

As to her mental state, I’m not sure she’ll ever fully recover. She spends several hours a day with that glassy-eyed stare, mumbling to herself and making weird faces. Sometimes she’ll get up suddenly and pace back and forth, or she might wave her hands about and have conversations with herself while she types. I try to avoid her at times like that… Even when she’s going about her normal activities, she’ll sometimes stop dead and get that zoned-out look. And, without fail, she’ll eventually run upstairs and begin frantically typing. I declare, I don’t know what her problem is!

We do have cozy talks sometimes, when her mental state seems more stable. She’ll ask me to describe something I’ve seen in Kharsedon, or beg me to tell her some of the history. Sometimes she reads me what she’s written and I’ll help her change the things that aren’t quite right. We try to avoid editing, though, until she’s gotten the whole thing written. I’ll tell you one thing, though: I’m starting to fall in love with this book almost as much as she is!

 

 About the Author: 
 Narina is a native of Kharsedon. A time traveller and visitor of many different worlds, she chose to make Artha (earth) her new home. She provides information for Lena Karynn Tesla, the designated Lekhaka, or Scribe, who is writing the history of her world. Her job (and hobby) involves visiting other worlds and interviewing the characters featured in their books. She currently lives with Lekhaka full-time, only making quick trips to other worlds and different times on the weekends.

Contact her at character.narina [at] gmail [dot] com

Books · Newsletters · Random · Writing

Updates, Newsletters, and Summer Reading

Alright, let’s start with the updates:

My blog will be undergoing renovations, so be sure to keep checking back. I’ll mostly be focusing on the Writing pages. I’m also focusing on writing one of my WIPs, Something More. It is book one of a fantasy trilogy, and I’m hoping to finish the first draft by the end of the year. I got quite a bit done this month by participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, which was a great experience. You can watch my progress in the sidebar. And I know I haven’t done the Second Sunday Sales like I said I would, but I promise I will start that in August. Pinky swear.

I’ve also been able to read quite a few books this summer, which I’m pretty excited about. I’ve reviewed most of them, which you can check out on the Reviews page. I’m currently reading an incredible dystopian novel, Thy Kingdom Come, by the ridiculously talented Daniel Adorno. Yeah, I’m pretty much obsessed with his books (if you couldn’t tell by my reviews… 😉 ). Aaaand, I’m planning to read (and hopefully review) Holding the Future Hostage by Tialla Rising and The Witches’ Sleep (fabulous, by the way; it’s a re-read) by Kaitlyn Deann. I’m also reading a brilliant biography of a brilliant man: Tolkien, by Humphrey Carpenter. That basically sums up my reading life lately… And now for the exciting news!

drum roll

I am starting to send out newsletters! You can keep up to date on all my blog-happenings, the progress of my WIPs, and here’s the exciting part: I will occasionally include exclusive excerpts from my books! Subscribe right now! I’ll be sending out the first one very soon! These certainly won’t be monthly, and they probably won’t even happen very regularly, but whenever I have something exciting to update you on, I’ll send one out, and you’ll be the first to know!

 

I love you all and I hope the rest of your summer is exquisite! Thank you for reading and following my blog! ❤

-Lena

Random

Irony

I recently found this awesome blog post by Jim Butcher on NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program website. I think it is quite possibly the best post on writing that I have ever read. And it is a brilliant example of what I had just read in school about the use of irony in writing.

Beware, sweet, innocent, aspiring writer. People aren’t telling you this, and they should be. NaNoWriMo participants are being deceived into thinking that being an author is a good thing. But you don’t know. You don’t know the horrors you might face as a professional, published, full-time author.

The best part about this post is that it is actually inspiring! It encouraged me to go forth and write! 🙂

You cannot know the horrors you will face! Run! Flee! Turn aside from this dark road!

For if you do not, I fear that one day, you will find yourself writing with other damned souls like me.

Who knows? Maybe I will!

 

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