A year in review

2018 is the year I didn’t write.

Or read, really.

2018 is the year I had emergency surgery to deliver my fourth child, a gorgeous son we named after a comic book character.

I guess I’m extra like that.

2018 is the year I accepted I don’t really understand the current slang “the kids” use.

I use it anyway… sparingly.

2018 is the year our new business nearly lost us our house.

It’s also the year we were able to pay for a week long trip to Hawaii for four (five, if you count the baby). I can’t wait – we leave in a few weeks. A proper vacation? I’m giddy.

2018 is the year I didn’t get my book finished. The year I didn’t update about it. The year I promised to write, read, review, beta read… and couldn’t do it.

I’m sorry.

I think it’s the hormonal birth control I’m on. Making me more anxious, more depressed, even as our financial circumstances are turning around. It’s also made me gain a ton of weight while breastfeeding which has never happened to me before. But the anxiety made me unable to call to get it removed until this week, even though I knew what the problem was.

Sorry, I know I’m oversharing.

2018 is the year my mother-in-law had another stroke, surgery, and we thought she wasn’t going to make it.

It’s also the year we helped her get a realtor (after the medical emergencies) and make offers on a few houses. No new house yet, but it’s a new year!

2018 was better than 2017.

2019 will be better than 2018.

2019 is the year I’ll finish my book and turn it in to the publisher.

2019 is the year I will read more.

2019 is the year I will find my creative spark again.

2019 is the year I turn 40.

It’s now, or never.

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Second Person Narrative

You won’t often find a story written in second person. I chose to write my science fiction novel “Mutants: Uprising” in second person, but usually I write in third person, or first. The author picks a point of view that best serves their story, as you can invoke different feelings and reactions from the reader with each.

First person narrative is what you use when you want your main character to be the narrator of the book. They are personally relating the story to the reader in some fashion, and the author can ONLY tell you what the main character is feeling or seeing.

Example: I ran down the street, my flip-flops slapping the pavement noisily, trying to memorize the license plate before the car drove out of sight. As it turned the corner, tires squealing, I skidded to a stop, gasping for air like a fish. Why don’t I exercise more?! “I only got the first four numbers,” I said, turning to Sarah, who somehow looked fresh as a daisy despite running after me. “Did you do any better?” She shook her head.

Third person narrative will allow you to enter the head of one or MORE characters – third person limited means you are still experiencing the story from the POV of one character, but you can also write in third person omniscient, which means you can reveal the thoughts and feelings of every character whenever you like. Many books, like George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, will use third person limited but ALSO switch characters in every chapter. So for one chapter you are experiencing Main Character 1, and the next you’re switching to Main Character 2, et cetera.

Example: She ran down the street, her flip-flops slapping the pavement noisily, trying to memorize the license plate before the car drove out of sight. As it turned the corner, tires squealing, she skidded to a stop, gasping for air like a fish and bemoaning her fitness level. “I only got the first four numbers,” she said, turning to Sarah, who somehow looked fresh as a daisy despite running after her. “Did you do any better?” Sarah shook her head.

Second person narrative puts the READER in the action. The reader becomes the main character, and the story becomes more immediate and urgent than First or Third person. You will find this POV used most often in Choose Your Own Adventure books. I wrote Mutants: Uprising in second person because I wanted to invoke that feeling of a CYOA book, and let the reader really get involved in the story.

Example: You run down the street, your flip-flops slapping the pavement noisily, trying to memorize the license plate before the car drives out of sight. As it turns the corner, tires squealing, you skid to a stop, gasping for air like a fish and cursing your fitness level. “I only got the first four numbers,” you say to Sarah, who still looks as fresh as a daisy despite running after you. “Did you do any better?” She shakes her head.

I hope this helps you understand the different point of views a little better. 🙂

Here be Dragyns

Dragons can take many forms. For me, personally, they take the shape of Anxiety and Self-Doubt. They sit on my shoulders and whisper into my ear that I’m not good enough. They reach down and pull from their hoard of memories just exactly the worst one for me to think about, and shove it inside my head.

If the movie Inside Out were real, Fear is sitting at the emotion console, trying to press the buttons.

Anxiety makes me worry about things I can’t do anything about. It squeezes my chest and makes it hard to breathe sometimes. To get rid of it, I try to ignore my fears – but when they come back they remind me that I was purposefully setting them aside, and that nothing has changed in my circumstances. Money is tight. Raising three kids is difficult. My relationships grow more strained, or distant.

Self-Doubt tells me that I’m just not good enough to overcome whatever it is that’s making me anxious. And the dragons circle around me like vultures, waiting to feast as I crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head.

So hear this, Dragons. I’m going to keep moving forward, even when you grab my ankles and try to slow me down. I may fall short of my goals, but at least I am moving toward them.