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Make Mistakes

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” ~ Neil Gaiman

I tend to be an anxious person and as a result, trying new things can be terrifying. Why? I can’t predict the outcome and it makes me feel out of control. (Lack of control is like jet fuel for anxiety.)

At the same time, both my professions (psychiatry and writing) DEMAND I try new things. 

All. The. Time.

What’s a girl to do?

At some point along the way (I don’t remember when, but it must’ve been in med school), I realized I had to learn how to go with the flow. Perhaps being constantly thrown into new situations had something to do with it…the whole sink or swim thing is pretty dang powerful.  Plus, worrying about something doesn’t change the outcome, but it sure makes the journey a lot more stressful. With that in mind, I try to embrace new things and roll with change. 

I’m not always successful. Hence the making mistakes. And sometimes anxiety gets the better of me (usually in the form of avoidance). So when I come across quotes like the one above, I pay special attention to it. It’s a reminder. A form of cheerleading, if you will. An excuse to put myself out there.

Because really, mistakes aren’t necessarily bad. I’ve survived all my mistakes. And while it’s not fun to make them, I’ve learned something from them. 

How about you? Do you make mistakes? Do you embrace them? Are they valuable to you?

The Big Deal

Guys. GUYS. This is so exciting. A bunch of Spencer Hill Press Teen and Young Adult ebooks are discounted via Amazon’s The Big Deal NOW through May 24 AND The Zodiac Collector is one of them!

Please check it out if you haven’t already purchased The Zodiac Collector, and please share the news!

If you’ve read The Zodiac Collector, please consider writing a review–it’s SO important for authors to get reviews because it helps improve visibility and outreach.

Thanks so much!

THE BIG DEAL

The Zodiac Collector ebook for $2.99 

Zodiac-collector (2)

I came across a writer tip the other day that bears repeating.

  

As I face edits for three books, I’m going to keep this in mind and apply it when I can.

How about you? What tip(s) have you come across lately that you want to incorporate in your writing?

Give Yourself A Break

Publishing is a competitive sport of sorts. Think about it. How many authors are out there? How many books? (If you’ve seen my growing book wish list, you’ll see it’s quickly getting out of control.)

And only the best get to enjoy some visibility in bookstores and online retailers.

Yet the amount of rejection every author faces is daunting. It can be soul crushing.

I know I look at my work with such a critical eye that I pretty much convince myself no one would ever waste even five minutes reading it. 

(Other authors have felt this way, I’ve heard ’em mention it.)

So what’s a writer to do? Quit, right?

Wrong!

Anyone who’s caught the writing bug knows that while quitting seems appealing from time to time, the urge to write is still inside, perhaps buried or latent or beaten down, but it’s there. And it refuses to be snuffed out. 

Sometimes it takes hearing a reader gush about a character they liked, or receiving positive feedback from a beta reader, or even returning to an abandoned project and realizing its waaaay better than you first thought to get you back in the proverbial saddle. 

Last summer, I’d started a new YA contemporary and got about 20,000 words in before falling out of love with it. I’d taken a few writerly ego hits (a press shut down and I got rights for four novels returned to me–a good thing, but it effectively annihilated my backlist–and I was toiling with the querying of a different YA contemporary written the previous winter), and contemplated quitting. My joie de writing had dried up. 

A few months later, I got new contracts for two of my returned projects (Yay!), and received some good news for the YA contemporary. Riding the good news high, I pulled out the partially drafted novel and reviewed it. I realized it was way better than I’d given it credit for. Who knew?! 

The upshot?

I need to GIVE MYSELF A BREAK. Sure, whatever I write needs editing–that’s par for the course–but I shouldn’t see that as a reason to quit…or to bash myself. I need to recognize I can tell a damn good story. I need to acknowledge my ability to create complex characters. 

I need to keep writing.

How about you? Do you need to give yourself a break? If so, what kind?

We all have addictions. Some are healthier than others. Some have horrible consequences. Some we say are benign but really aren’t.

Here are some of mine:

  • Food. This has been my most challenging addiction. It’s hard for folks to understand if they’ve never fought with the scale, but even after losing almost 90 pounds, I still struggle with it. I love sweet (ice cream!!!!) and salty (French fries) things–a double whammy in my book.
  • Books. My wish list is well in the dozens. I buy a stack of books whenever I visit a bookstore. I’m tempted to one click on Amazon daily. I had to build bookshelves in two rooms to carry my collection…this is in addition to my library upstairs.
  • Sleep. It’s my favorite hobby. Yes, even above reading. Gasp! If given a chance, I can sleep 10-11 hours a day. How horrible is that?!
  • Coffee. You might lump this in with food, but my addiction is so strong I have to count it separately. I like hot coffee, iced coffee, coffee ice cream, lattes, flavored, unflavored…it doesn’t matter, I like it all!

My addictions could be a lot worse, of course, and I’m thankful they’re not, but they do remind me that too much of anything, even if it’s good, can be bad.

How about you? What addictions do you have?

Book News!

A few months ago the rights for my YA dystopian duology were returned to me. I was bummed about my book babies leaving the virtual bookshelf, but also excited at the prospect of breathing new life into the series.

Last week, something wonderful happened–Endure & Evoke got a second chance to greet the world!

Vicki Merkiel, the Acquisitions Editor at Curiosity Quills Press, offered contracts for both books…and I accepted. (Yay!!!)

The Publisher’s Marketplace announcement: 

 

“Laura Diamond’s ENDURE, about a seventeen-year-old who must try to save his kidnapped sister from an immortal race of aliens known as the Vie, while keeping the Vie from draining his anemic blood and using it as a drug, and EVOKE, to Vicki Merkiel at Curiosity Quills Press, for publication in Spring 2016.” 

I’ve got some plans on how to revamp the duology, adding twists that weren’t seen in the first version, so it looks like I’ll be busy over the next few months refining the prose, solidifying the world building, and brightening the characters with the goal of bringing you a new and improved dystopian tale of survival and sacrifice. (Double yay!!!!)

And the series will likely get new titles too, so stay tuned. (Triple yay!!!)

I can’t thank Vicki and the wonderful team at Curiosity Quills enough for the opportunity.

THANK YOU!!!!!  *** group hug ***

I’m late posting this week because I waffled on sharing family photos. Most of are rather private folks, so…yeah. Ahem. So I’ve decided to share some highlights because we’ve been planning Gramma’s surprise party for months, part of which included renovating the dining room (!!!), and how could I not share something??? Plus, the finished product was so nice that I could hardly stand it! 

Anywho, the theme was the roaring twenties. Gramma and her sister wore red feather boas, the ladies wore beaded headbands, & the fellas dressed up in suits and bow ties. Crystal beads were draped on the walls, table, & chandelier, roses adorned the table, and my aunt baked & decorated the most delicious cake!

My gramma can be a bit stoic, so I wasn’t sure if she liked it. (She was gracious, of course, but you know…) Thankfully my aunt told me Gramma talked about the party for the entire trip home, so I’ll call that a success! 

Cheers!

 

(You can see how thrilled Gramma is, right? ;p) (And yes, that’s me double fisting champagne in mismatched wine glasses, a la chabby chic.) 

PS: Stay tuned for my next blog post where I share some more good news. (I think I’ll need to buy more champagne to celebrate.) 

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