A Lightning Bolt: How The Want Series Came to Me

Have you ever had a bolt of lightning strike you?

Neither have I. That would be terrifying not to mention life-threatening. But I have had a good idea come out of nowhere.

As I read a story and get enthralled by the plot and characters, questions always come up for me. “Hmm, I don’t like that. What if…”

Or “That doesn’t seem realistic to me. What I would’ve done is…”

One day as I was hanging out with friends in Seekonk, MA, watching TV, a random errant thought came to mind as we were discussing movies.

“What if the Grim Reaper was an actual living person?”

It’s a stupid question but I was stuck. I couldn’t move beyond this question. I was essentially paralyzed. I had to write this idea down. My friends won’t remember this but I immediately shot out of my seat and said that I had to go home. I jumped in my car and repeated the idea over and over in my head as I rushed the 20-minute ride back home.

I grabbed the nearest notebook and I wrote for a good solid hour. Fleshing the idea of the Want and pulling from my Christian teachings about the deadly sins. How would the idea of Japanese folklore of Shinigami play into this? Anime? Angels? The Seraphims?

I planned out the entire series that day. Not to say that it wouldn’t change over the course of five years. But it felt like kismet that day. This was the idea I was supposed to run with, to cry over, to get frustrated over, to pour sweat and tears into. And would be proud to call my first novel.

If that’s being struck by a bolt of lightning, then you can hit me with that a couple of times over the course of my life. Because it was and it still continues electrifying.

Breaking down the Dream of an Empire (Lesson #1)

I am a dreamer.

It’s one of thing that people find endearing about me (I think…at least my husband does).

Many years ago (but not too long), I wanted to be a lawyer. At the age of 12, I wanted to be that person who I had seen in court dramas on TV and make a difference. I even competed in competitions where I had to act and write like a lawyer. And I excelled at it. My mother got a kick out of it whenever she had to dress me up in a dress suit, looking ready to kick ass in the courtroom.

I became driven at the age of 12. And I completed the very dream I had envisioned. I’m a licensed attorney and have been now for about 6 years. I have touched upon almost everything within the law field, even the lofty goal of being an entertainment attorney working for the likes of Sony Music and Bad Boy Entertainment.

I was driven. I was focused. I was pushing myself to excel.

And I also stopped listening to the dreamer in my head.

Some short time into high school, I began to turn to the page. I was too much of a dreamer and most of the time hated the mundane of facts and non-fiction. So I turned to a little notebook I had and I began to write poems (like a lot of angsty teenagers do). But the poems morphed into bigger aspirations. I was then dreaming of stories and differences I would do in the books I would consume. It then became a writing a play for a competition at school and immersing myself in the Drama Club – the true place for dreamers. I began to write short stories. I had tapped into a stream of aspiration and ideas I didn’t know I had inside of me.

Then I gave myself a reality check. I told myself writing wasn’t going to pay the bills or put food on the table. I had to seek out a respectable profession like being a lawyer.

I buried the dreamer deep down. She had to be put away so I could focus. And focus I did.

To this day, I still wonder whether the dreamer and the achiever could have co-existed at the same time. Probably not, because I didn’t have the skills to balance two things at the same time. I’m not sure whether I can now but I am attempting it.

The dreamer reemerged when I needed her the most. To help cope with studying for the bar – I wrote fanfiction (not ashamed of it – if you want to read it some, let me know). Then when I was looking for a job, she came with an idea for a novel which I have spent the last 5 years working on. And I have several other novels in my head, ready to be put to paper.

How I functioned without my dreamer throughout college and law school is still a mystery to me. But she has been flexing her fingers and she is ready to spring out. Because she has now placed in me the biggest dream of all.

The Empire. Or at least that’s what I call it and I was calling it that before the show.

Being a lawyer in as many different fields of law as I have been in my short time has given me perspective. Your past experiences, good or bad, always teach you a lesson. Lessons that will benefit you in the future whether you know that future or not. My experiences gave me perspective on conducting business – how to do and what not to do. And that to be truly happy, the best business is your own where you can call the shots (especially if you are Type A like myself).

And I have a MASSIVE dream for my Empire. Media company that will feature voices that don’t normally have a platform that will encompass books, films, social media, etc. I could go on and on about this vision and how boss it’s gonna be (that’s for another post).


When you have such a huge dream, it’s very easy to get swept up in all that has to get done. And if you’re like me, you want to get everything done like yesterday. I’ve caused myself so much stress about getting everything done that I have burst into ugly tears about how I’m ruining everything by being tired (did I mention I’m a Type A?).

So here’s the first lesson I learned:

YOU ARE NOT A GOD OR A GENIE.

The dreamer is holding on to the dream of the Empire but the achiever sees that all of the legwork should have been done years ago. That we have lost time and that we have do everything now to just catch up, let alone progress forward.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH. NO, REALLY TAKE A DEEP BREATH RIGHT NOW. (I just did it myself.)

I am thorough believer that everything happens for a reason – even when I don’t like the outcome or wish it wasn’t so. There is a reason I took the long way to get to this point – of being a writer and wanting to start my own media empire including a publishing company. I had to go through the ups and downs of life to understand that this is where I wanted to end up. Because I needed perspective.

Just because I’m starting later doesn’t mean my dream will never get accomplished. It’s never too late for my dream. I will need to remind myself of this when I am pushing through work deadlines and possible distractions (read: kids) in the future. It’s never too late for now. And because it’s never too late for now, everything doesn’t have to be done now.

Take the slow cooker. You know why a slow cooker is one of the best inventions known to man? Because the best flavors and best textures need time to simmer. Time to perfect.

Slow cook your dream, throw in some dedication, a few dashes of patience, a couple of drops of innovation, a healthy cup of teamwork and collaboration. And let it cook until it’s done. And sometimes the dream is too big to fit in the slow cooker, so slow cook what you can realistically can get done now.

I’m getting my yearly strategic plan ready (more on that in my next post) so I can effectively execute the plan in a well thought out manner instead of the emotional mess I tend to be. And I learned that through my experiences. You see, full circle.

So I am may be a lawyer now, working on blah stuff.

But I will always be a dreamer. Taking it one day at a time.

 Thanks Ed.

#itsKTnotKatie

Normally…

Normally I’m not that cranky about waking up on Mondays. It’s more likely I need a break from my weekend because they tend to be jammed packed and getting back to my normally scheduled activities like the pandemonium I like to call my job can be considered a break.

But today …


I could not be bothered.

Maybe because I just ….wanted my hopes and dreams and aspirations to be fulfilled so I could gleefully get up and start doing what I love. Books and pages and paper, oh my. I wanted my edits for my book to my main focus. I wanted to be heading to my own office for my publishing company. I wanted my husband to be heading his job of producing films and web series. I wanted our Empire to be on steady legs and busy with activities. But I woke up “Nope not yet. Just another grey Monday. Now get your butt up and go pay those bills.”

Le sigh.

It’s in these moments I gotta try to pep myself. So I write. Writing honestly does it for me. When I can’t vocalize what I’m feeling, it’s amazing how writing and putting down can free you. If you are new to my posts, I tend to write a lot of inspiration-get-your-mind-right kind of posts. All of stream of consciousness. I hope you enjoy it. Maybe it will do something for you too.

I’m just glad I don’t have to dig particular deep to out of my funk for this particular day. Because I’m quietly plotting. Quietly working. To get my ish together so I can have my dreams realized.

I’m not at that Beyoncé level but I’m getting there.

-#ItsKTnotKatie

It’s Been a Long Time… Time for the Boss Lady Grind!

Family,

First and foremost, I have to say….I AM SO SORRY!!

I disappeared for an inexcusable amount of time and I thoroughly submit to this position!

If you are unfamiliar with this picture, this is the dogeza position, a Japanese custom of bowing that shows the most humblest of apologize. Yes that, my friends, is the level of my apology! But I think I do have some sort of excuse…
I am moving to New York City!

Yes, I am in the throes of a major life upheaval from the suburbs of Boston to the nitty-gritty city life of New York. I have always said drive forward, if you have a vision that will make you happy, that will make you appreciate your life even greater, you should drive forward. My moving to NYC is driving forward my legal career to an n-th degree. Because friends I have a vision. It’s a vision that made me remember why I wanted to be a lawyer and it’s fun again! And it has been a great experience finding it. I could go on and on about but this is not the place for it.
But because I have renewed my vigor for the legal aspect of my career doesn’t mean that I have forgotten my passion for writing. Because it still remains my nightlife, my night career. The night air that I breathe! So while it has taken a slight back seat, it is not one to be taken lightly for long (Dangers of Two Timing…Myself ring any bells?). So I’m working to getting my Boss Lady Grind as I like to call it. 
What’s the Boss Lady Grind? I’ll put it to you like this. With anything you have or want in life, you have to learn to wear different hats. Hat for business, hat for creativity, hat for marketing, etc. It’s the only true way you can be successful. If you don’t have the skills, learn OR align yourself with someone you trust with your vision who does have the skills you need. That’s the true way of getting where you want to go…in essence the true Boss Lady Grind. I have to be honest, I lost the ability for awhile because I was so focused on my writing – the Writing hat became a large sombero, escaping everything else. But now it’s time to get back on my Boss Lady Grind – the hardcore determination that I like to fashion as a hot fedora (cuz they’re sexy…on me at least).
So get ready for the transformation! K.T. 2.0! (witty banter shall follow!)

I Wanna Go Up the Stairs!

Ever worked at something so hard, like sweat dripping down your face, teeth-gritting determined? And you keep pushing towards the finish line that when you finally do, it takes you by surprise? Even though it’s what you been what you’ve been working towards after so long?

My readers, as of Sunday February 19 at 9:45pm EST, I finished the first draft of my first novel. I crossed my (first) finish line.
EEEEEEKKKKK! (enter humongo grin here)
At first I didn’t know what exactly to feel. At first it was a definitely sigh of relief. Popped open a bottle of moscato and went to town! But as the elation passes, I began to think….Ok what is next?
And here is where I think many people begin to falter. Picture this: you are a toddler and you desperately want to climb to the top of the stairs. And that first step is so huge and you put so much time, effort and energy into getting up on the first step that when you do, you are elated beyond measure. You giggle, you clap your hands, you drool from excitement.
But then you look up and you see the other nine steps that you have to conquer. And it seems much higher than you remembered when you were at the bottom of the stairs! People say taking the first step is the hardest. I think continuing to keep going up the next several steps is even harder. Because it’s keeping the momentum, not letting the daunting task before you push back into stepping back down.
While I have finished the first massive step of completing my first draft comes the daunting task of going through the skeleton, putting meat and girth on, taking out the fat and keeping it lean. I would not be truthful if I said that I wasn’t sure of my abilities.
BUT….(there is always a but!)
I see my toy at the top of the stairs. It is my prized toy that I enjoy and love and desperately want. More than these inky stairs can keep me from it. And even though there are challenges on the way (losing my balance, getting distracted, seeing a so-so toy at the bottom I could have played with), I want my favorite toy.
I want my name on the New York Bestsellers List. It is mine for the taking. And take it I shall do!

In every adventure, we are all like a toddler, taking first steps to some unknown territory. And we are scared, elated, petrified, excited and downright crazy. But think about how you’ll feel when you look back to the many steps that you have taken! How you’ll gurgle with delight at your accomplishment and how you can’t wait to hear that shout of praise from Mommy or some big person  that says “wow, look at what you did!”
I for one can’t wait to see how far I can step up. One thing is for sure, my aim is the top of the stairs.

Writing Prompt: Help Kill Your Pal’s Wife

One of the websites that I visit quite often is Writer’s Digest. And they have the best articles to browse through if you ever need an inspiration or to drop money on some book you think will lead you to success…

Anyway, about every other day they post up writing prompts to give you a leg up on starting up a story. I have a couple of favorites that I will post up from time to time.

Try this on for size and leave a comment on how you think you first couple of sentences would go:

A close friend asks you to help him kill his wife and, to his surprise, you agree without hesitation—not because you particularly dislike his wife, but because she’s the only person who knows this one deep, dark secret that could ruin your life forever. Write about how you confront her and how the murder plays out.


Have Fun!!!!

Too Little, Too Late?; Writer’s Conference in NYC

It has been about 12 days since “The Balancer” (working title for now) didn’t make the cut for NaNoWriMo. Yes, yes, sad sad, blah blah.

Remember how my main lament was that the ideas just weren’t coming? Well wouldn’t you know, my Muse decided to come back from vacation and pop in and say, “Hey why not this?” or “That would be awesome if you did this?” or “THAT WOULD BE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS IF YOU DID THAT!!”

Yes, my muse screams when she gets excited. Doesn’t yours?

But I am torn – I had wanted all this last month! When I was specifically carving out time to write and to flourish and get ready for January.

Oh, what’s January you ask? Well in January, I will be attending my first Writer’s Conference hosted by Writer’s Digest. It is my chance to approach some 60 agents in hopes of getting great feedback and schmoozing and all that jazz.

So here’s the dilemma. How can I approach any agent without anything to show for? Sure, I know what exactly I am going to write but I DO NOT want the conversation to go like this?

Me:….(just finished explanation/pitch). What do you think?


Agent: That sounds like a fantastic series. I can definitely see the marketability and I would love to get a read through. Is it ready?


Me: Ugh…well about that…it’s not quite there yet.


Agent: What’s not quite there?


Me:…..Like major revisions not quite there yet.


Agent:…NEXT!

(Both Charlie Brown depictions do justice as to what I would be feeling).

So it seems that I am amidst another scramble to finish (or at least 75% ) Book 1. I want more than anything to ensure that my money is being well spent for this conference.

So let’s see what we can do! Novel in Month, Take 2!

BY THE WAY!

Anyone attending this conference? January 20-22 at the Sheraton New York Hotel! I’d love to hear from anyone attending. I’m going solo but wouldn’t mind a buddy! Let me know!

NaNoWriMo: Post Week 1; Writer’s Conference

So…

Yea… This is what I should be feeling, exhausted but invigorated. Heavy but light. Drained but completed. All those opposite words. The reality of it….not so much.

Couple of things I have figured out this past week.

I have a lot of ideas, but not enough time to put them down on paper. My supposed schedule went out the window with work, family and other stuff came into play. Out of the 10K words I should have down on paper, I only have a little more than half.

Unacceptable.

So Week 2 is all about tweaking what needs to be tweaked, running away from all other things and locking myself in some Panera Bread somewhere and getting work done.

Hopefully I will have redeemed myself this week – cross my fingers.

In other news, I have decided to attend my first Writer’s Conference (the crowd cheers).

I’ll be attending the Writer’s Digest Conference in January in NYC. Really excited about the networking that will be taking place, learning more about the craft and getting some pointers from agents and publishers attending.

But before I can really use it to its full potential, this bloody manuscript needs to get done!!

Sigh…Ok..I’m going.

Words of encouragement are always welcome. I’ve told my other readers that it gives me the mojo to keep going!

Busy, Busy Busy

Sorry I’ve been remiss in posting the chapters of the Second Wind stories, but in light of the major exposure, I’ve been doing some heavy revisions. I’ve updated the Second Wind tab to put up at least up to Chapter 10. The rest should be coming within the next two days.

Look out for another posting soon! I’d like to share my next two novel ideas with you!

But until then, I’ll leave with the musical styling of Rupee. Here’s one for the jumpers! Light it up!!

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