Books · Writing

I Finished??

I’ve got some exciting news to share…

I completed the first round of rewrites on Something More! It came out at a little over 87k words, which is 23k more than the first draft. I’m pretty pleased with the progress, to be honest. We’ll see what my alpha readers think of it…

That’s right people, I’m actually letting someone read an imperfect draft. Considering I just screwed up the courage to tell my family that I’m writing at all, this was a pretty big and nerve wracking step for me. And I’m feeling a little bipolar about the whole thing. Waiting for feedback is a cross between anxiously wishing they’d get back to you, and panicking that someone might actually be reading what you wrote. 😉

In the mean time, I’m keeping myself busy with drafting the second book in the trilogy. It’s coming along pretty slowly (I think I may have forgotten how to draft, lol), but I’m so excited to be writing it! We meet quite a few new characters, one of which is my personal favorite. 🙂

I’m sending out a newsletter in a few days, and it will have a short snippet from the beginning of Book Two in it, so if you’re not signed up for that, go subscribe! I will probably also post a few excerpts here, or on various social media, as I’m writing, so keep an eye out for those. I’ll also be working on publishing an awesome short story that will be a freebie for my subscribers, and you won’t want to miss it!

Until next month then, I’ll be busily writing! 🙂

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Books · Writing

Getting It Done

My goal for March is to just get it done. I’ve been working on rewrites (second draft) of Something More since November, and it’s time to be finished. I need to stop with the excuses; stop with the ‘I’m too tired’, ‘It’s late; I’ll write tomorrow’, ‘I don’t have very much time, so why bother’. I’ve started writing at least a little bit everyday, even on my busy days. I can feel myself forming a habit. First thing after I wake up, I write; last thing before bed, I write. It’s the bookends to my day.

I recently read a short book by Chris Fox, 5,000 Words Per Hour, and I’ve started implementing some of the tips he gives. One of them is to have a regular time to write. It’s really helped me to keep up my momentum. I used to skip days when I was busy, but then I would start skipping days when I just didn’t feel like writing. Pretty soon, entire weeks would go by without me writing a single word. And even if my hourly word count isn’t very high right now, the words are still accumulating, because at least I’m writing something.

It might be easier to increase my writing speed if I didn’t always have to deal with this:

She likes to help

I’ve resolved to get this draft done by the end of March! Fox’s book gave me just the kick of motivation that I needed. A lot of the suggestions were things that I already knew, but it’s always good to have a reminder. It was a good read, very quick, and I do recommend it if you’re looking for some strategies.

If anyone’s interested in joining me for my morning or evening writes (it’s a writing rite, lol. OK, I’m done… :P), I’d love the company! 🙂

Books · Writing

New Year Goals 2018

It’s another new year. 2017 held a lot of changes for me, and I know that there are more to come during this time of my life, but it is nice to have a little stability back, and a little constancy, too. As I look forward to the coming year, I have a few goals I’d like to share with you.

2018_2

I’d like to read more this year. I did not get as many books read last year as I would have liked, and my TBR is only getting bigger… I’m shooting for 50 books this year. I’m not going to even try predicting which ones, because I’ve been terribly off in the past, but I would like to at least finish all the books I’ve already started. If you’d like to follow my reading progress you can find me on Goodreads.

I’d also like to get more writing done this year. I’m trying to be a lot more regular with my writing—aiming for 3k words a week. I need to push harder at the beginning to get Something More done sooner. I’m over 25k into the first set of rewrites, after which it will go to my alpha readers. I’m hoping to have it ready for beta readers by March or April.

I’m going to try to blog regularly, too—maybe even at the beginning of every month. If you have any suggestions for posts you’d like to see, I’d love to hear them!

And, last goal, I’m going to be better about sending out Newsletters. I’m going to make sure I do two to four a year, starting with one later this month. If you haven’t already, please do subscribe! There will be a few Something More teasers and some other fun writing related things coming up.

Never to old to dream quote

What are some of your goals for 2018? I’d love to hear your plans, and offer some encouragement!

Get exclusive content and exciting opportunities when you sign up for my newsletter! If you or anyone you know is interested in beta reading, this is the place to get more information!

Lena 6

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?

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 · Random · Writing

Exciting News

I’m alive!!
In case any of you were worried, I’m not dead or captured or otherwise in grave danger. Nope. I’ve just been doing other things. Writing, mostly. And that leads me to the exciting news I have to share with you guys.

I must scream it to the world, my excitement from the top of someplace very high!
I must scream it to the world, my excitement from the top of someplace very high!

I finished the first draft of Something More! It only came to 64,000 words, which is quite a bit less than I had been planning. I already know of several scenes that I will be adding in the second draft, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to bump the word count up. I’ve been working on this draft for about three years, so it is a huge relief to have it finished! I’m looking forward to editing, and starting book two with great excitement! 😀

Before that, however, I will be working on a few short stories: One is a submission for an anthology that I’d like to be included in, and the other two are just little shorts that I’ll be sharing with you on my blog. 🙂

And finally, my last bit of news is that I am starting college next week! This is an exciting (and slightly terrifying) new experience for me, so your prayers would be appreciated. And if I’m MIA for a while, you’ll know why (and hopefully pray harder 😉 ).

As always, follow my newsletter for exclusive, writing-related content.

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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 · Interviews

Introducing… Narina! Character Interview

I’m very excited to be doing an interview with one of my very own characters, from a short story/novella sequel to the prequel of my fantasy trilogy. (It’s complicated, I know!). I’m introducing Narina to you, because from now on she will be doing all the character interviews on my blog for me.

And here she is now, so we can proceed.

(Photo from Pinterest)
(Photo from Pinterest)

Narina, it’s great to have you join us. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

As Lena said, my name is Narina, and I am featured in a short story she is planning to write. My grandfather was a human who lived on Artha, but moved to Kharsedon with his three children in his old age. I was born to his daughter in Kharsedon, but I moved to Artha when I was 24. I’ve lived here ever since, trying to blend in with the humans.

 

In what ways do you stand out from the humans of earth (Artha)?

Being half Kirf and half human, I have some characteristics of both. I’m a little stronger than most humans, but I still look like a human. I am a Comunicator – someone who can understand the language of a different species – so that’s easier to hide than if I were a Shifter. Also, the languages of animals here on Artha are slightly different from those on Kharsedon, so they’re a little harder to understand.
I also will live longer, which means I age differently: once I reached 20 years old, I stopped aging. I will not begin to age again until I’m 500 or so.
But for the moment, I just look like your average human!

 

This may seem like a silly question, but for the sake of the readers: are you aware of the existence of your author? If so, what is your relationship with her like?

Yes! We call Lena the Lekhaka, or Scribe. She was my first friend upon my arrival to Artha, and has remained very dear to me. We discuss all the different books she is chronicling, and I help her with the history and language of Kharsedon.

 

What is a special accomplishment of yours?

I am a worlds traveller. I have visited many different worlds through the Gateway (you can learn the fascinating history of the Gateway in the books Lekhaka is writing). I also have the ability to time travel, which I learned on one of my trips to a very technologically advanced world. 

 

That’s awesome! I would love to do that!
What was it like to move to another world?

It was difficult at first, but thanks to the help of Varldine and Lekhaka, I settled in relatively quickly.

 

Glad to hear it!! Thank you so much for joining me for this, Narina! I really enjoyed it.

 

If you have any other questions for Narina, ask them in the comments. She would be thrilled to answer them all!

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