Spring Cleaning Writer Tag

I was tagged in this blog game by fellow author Kessie Carroll, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to dust off this sadly neglected blog and get it running again!

*blows off dust* *tidies up everything*

I apologize for my long absence! SO much has happened since I last blogged. For example, I started a newsletter (click on those words to sign up!), I’ve run several #WIPjoy events (one’s happening right now, in fact), AND I’ve launched into rewriting my treasured trilogy WIP again, after over a year’s hiatus – I am utterly thrilled about that!!

I hope to have some more updates around here for you very soon. 😀 But for now, without further ado, here are the questions from the writer tag…

Dust Bunnies and Plot Bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

My writing goals right now are to keep plugging away on my current draft of The Trusted! I’m at about 40,000 words, and I had been going strong until I got stuck at this spot. 😛 I hope to get over this snag once and for all and move forward again! I just hope to finish the draft this year, although getting a significant portion done before Realm Makers this summer would be awesome.

I also have a short story currently submitted to the Writers of the Future contest, and another short piece which I plan to submit to Havok’s Monsters Vs. Robots issue (a deadline which is coming up soon, so I’d better get on that!).

Lastly, I do hope to put out at least one more short story this year. Stay tuned on that!

Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

The tag gives these categories for stages:

a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

Based on that, I’m cleaning out a closet – both “remodeling” and writing. I had a solid outline for this draft, but after writing the first third, it’s fallen to pieces on me and I’m scrambling to create a new outline that jives better with the first act that’s fallen into place. For my secondary WIP, the flash fiction piece for Havok, I’m at the “polishing” stage.

Treasure from the Back of the Closet (Share 1-3 Snippets You Love)

Here’s a snippet from The Trusted. 🙂

Catherine’s hand ripped out of his. Her scream echoed down the corridor, shriller and louder than the blare of alarms.

Carried by momentum, Kevin stumbled several steps further in the blackness before slamming into the curve and whirling around.

The emergency lights flared on again.

The girl stood in the center of the hall, with the metal arm hooked tight around Catherine’s neck, dragging her backwards—and her stinger buried in Catherine’s chest.

Darkness.

He caught a glimpse of Catherine’s enormous dark eyes pleading with him for help, and the blood soaking her hair under the yellow glow.

Darkness.

Her entire body went slack.

Darkness.

The girl bent and laid Catherine out on the floor. Motionless. Silent.

Darkness.

Kevin went numb. A frenzy built up inside him—deep, dark terror he had no power and no wish to contain. His heart thundered, blood rushing in his ears. No. No, no, no. This is not happening. She is not dead.

The lights flashed on again. The girl stood over Catherine’s body, facing Kevin, and tilted her head, both hands spread out…daring him to come back. The end of her stinger was red with Catherine’s blood.

If you’d like to read more sneak peeks like this one, and follow me more closely in my writing journey, you may want to join my Facebook reader group! 😉

Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self (Share a Picture!)

As it would happen, I just went around today changing my profile picture on my various social media platforms! I’ve been using the same photo since 2015, and felt it was time for a change. So here’s the new photo I’ll be using for my author platforms, at least for awhile. 🙂 I’m also doing some spring-cleaning around this site…editing my “about” page, my editing services page, and so forth. So take a peek around, if you’d like, and see how things cleaned up!

The game asks me to tag three people, so I’m going to tag RJ Conte, Laura Pol, and Kyle Robert Shultz. (No pressure, friends!)

If you’d like to do the tag, feel free! The questions and rules are below…

Rules:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. Share the picture
3. Answer the questions (naturally…) or even pick and choose which ones you answer
3.5. Tag 3 other writers and inform them that you tagged them (via comment/message/email or hey, even carrier-pigeon or smoke signal; I’m not picky)

Questions:

1. Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)

2. Which Stage Are You At? Expound!

a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

3. Treasure From the Back of the Closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)

3.5. Bonus: Do Some Actual Spring Cleaning of Your Writer Self! (And share a picture!)

Ten Things Writers Are Thankful For

1. Our characters—all the precious details about them and their lives, how they entertain us, and how they keep us company at all times.

2. Coffee/tea/cocoa/wine…our writing beverage of choice. Also SNACKS!

3. That non-writing friend or family member who asks how our writing is going. Sometimes we feel like nobody in our lives cares about this massive part of our reality. Thank you for being that person who asks.

4. Those lines and scenes we secretly go back to read over and over again, amazed that it came out so beautifully.

5. Reviews! Even that 1 or 2 star review, because it means a reader with criticisms was kind enough to leave us feedback anyway.

6. The fact that the rough draft doesn’t have to be perfect.

7. The fact that edits and revisions do, in fact, eventually end.

8. Good editors. We’d be lost without them.

9. Writing friends who support us, cheer us on, and listen to us rant and rave about how Character A is all the feels today and Characters B and C aren’t getting along, and Character D is being a spoiled brat. 😛 Thank you for understanding and welcoming the chaos that is our brains!

10. And lastly, we are thankful that our antagonists and villains do not actually exist. Amen.

The MBTI of Lawless by Janeen Ippolito

I’m excited to be taking part in this blog tour, celebrating the release of Lawless, book one of The Ironfire Legacy by Janeen Ippolito!

I had the honor of reading this book in its early stages, and it’s so much fun. Dragonshifters and steampunk romance and airships. And lots and lots of intrigue and snark. Ahhhh, I can’t wait to get my hands on my shiny print copy so I can read it all again!! 😀

But of course one of the best things about a book is its characters. Today, I’m putting a spotlight on the major players of Lawless and their respective Myers-Briggs types. (I did this same kind of post awhile back for Blood Mercy: Thicker Than Watera novella which was co-written by Ippolito and her illustrator, Julia Busko. Also a really good story!)

Down at the bottom of this post, you’ll find another cipher for the blog tour scavenger hunt! But for now, without further ado, let’s meet the Lawless characters!

Kesia Ironfire – ENTP

Lawless‘s dragonshifter protagonist, Kesia, is a perfect example of an ENTP who has been “stomped on” by life and is slowly regaining her power and confidence. Convicted of murder at an early age, she’s been branded a criminal – bound to serve the dragon Pinnacle as recompense for her crime. But underneath her shame and uncertainty, she is a daring, fast-thinking, hopeful, and incessantly curious dragon. She and her fleetwing have a delightful, snarky relationship, grounded in their intelligence and wit, and it’s so fun to watch her acclimate to human society and discover new layers to herself and life that she never understood before.

Zephryn Nightstalker – INTJ

Kesia’s fleetwing, her military partner, is classically INTJ: a quiet, innovative, and critical deep-thinker, with a subtle but hilarious dry wit. It’s clear right from the get-go that he would do anything for Kesia, and her lack of self-preservation brings out his snark and protectiveness. When he’s not by her side, he enjoys burying himself in books and research. I love his cool inquisitiveness – when he doesn’t know or understand something, he goes after that information with a passion.

Shance Windkeeper – ESFP

Shance is one of my favorite characters in the book – an airship captain (with a special wind Talent!) who clearly loves life. As a sincere and loving FP type, he’s really not built for war. The brutality of it tears him apart, and while he does his duty, he’d much rather live in peaceful times – and kiss pretty girls, as he is quick to fall in love. This guy’s sensual SP side can be his downfall, but it’s hard not to like him anyway, with his natural charm and genuine affection.

Nula Thredsing – ENTJ

Nula’s less of a major character than the others featured here, but she has such a presence in this story that I can’t possibly leave her off this list! (Plus, she’s getting her own novella in the series later. And she deserves it. 😀 ) She’s powerful, calculating, and alluring – and as with most ENTJs, she’s got her own game plan and an intense drive to pursue her goals. I found her completely fascinating, and I’m excited to see more of her in future books.

More about Lawless!

The salvation of humans and dragons lies within a convicted murderer.

Dragonshifter Kesia Ironfire has one goal—to redeem her past by serving the cruel dragon Pinnacle as a soldier in the dragon-human war.

Then a rogue mission to spy on a new airship explodes into sickening green smoke. The same mysterious green smoke that was present the night of Kesia’s crime. When her dragon overlords deny any involvement, she and her tactical partner Zephryn Nightstalker try to investigate–and are sentenced to death.

Still searching for answers, Kesia and Zephryn flee to the human military capital, where Captain Shance Windkeeper has been furloughed after the destruction of his airship. Eager to discover what–and who–blew up his vessel, he agrees to help Kesia and Zephryn infiltrate High Command. In exchange, Kesia must pretend to be his betrothed so Shance can escape an arranged marriage. If only she knew what ‘betrothed’ and ‘arranged marriage’ meant.

But human social customs are the least of her worries. Dark secrets surface as Kesia delves deeper–secrets that challenge the facts of her crime and undermine the war itself.

Lawless just released yesterday (*throws confetti!*), and is available in the following places:

Amazon

Uncommon Universes Press
(autographed paperbacks can be ordered here!)

Barnes & Noble

Apple

Kobo

Also add it to your Goodreads list here!

Author Janeen Ippolito

Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes speculative fiction with monsters, misfits, and mushy stuff. She’s also an experienced author coach, editor, teacher, and the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, geeky TV, and brownie batter. A lifelong misfit, she believes different is beautiful and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her two websites: janeenippolito.com and writeinsideout.com.

Blog Tour Cipher Clue!

Here is clue #5 for the cipher!

The next stop in the tour is the blog of Melissa Sasina. Thanks for stopping by!!

Stories that Sever the Shadows

Things look a bit different around here and on my social networks today! I’m refreshing the look, with a new author tagline – Stories that Sever the Shadows.

While I liked my former tagline, “Bringing Joy to the Journey,” it felt too shallow to me. It didn’t dig deep into the marrow of why I do what I do. I want to sever shadows! I want my stories to pierce the shade so that journeys through the dark can have joy and hope.

While ideally they are comforting in their own ways, I don’t aim to write books that pat you tritely on the head and keep you comfortable, but rather fierce, intense tales that grip you, impact you, and inspire you toward victory and triumph.

Exciting changes and news!

I also have some more exciting news coming. 😀 My first email newsletter goes out on Thursday September 21st! Subscribers will get the earliest glimpse of my graphic and prompts for the upcoming #WIPjoy, and in this letter I’ll also talk about my current writing projects and my plans for the near-future…as well as some exciting new opportunities to connect, see sneak peeks, and maybe win giveaways. 😀

Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss it! Sign up here by clicking the linked image below:

What do you think of the new tagline? Does it describe my writing well for you? Let me know in the comments! 😀

Author Updates: Realm Makers 2017, New Author Services, and Simmering Mind Designs Raffle Winner!

After a long night of flying, I’m back from another amazing Realm Makers conference!

Last year when I went to the conference in Philly, I was struggling as an author. I had just put away my trilogy and was floundering deep in that fresh heartbreak. I was working on a new project, but aware my heart wasn’t fully in it. And I was only beginning to unravel some of the intense soul-challenges God had planned for me over my identity and motivations as an author. But I went away from RM2016 refueled, encouraged, and uplifted, more confident in my calling than ever before.

As I expected, that was true of RM2017 as well.

Strangely, my trilogy haunted me all weekend, ever since getting on the plane to Reno. After several months of supernatural peace about it, that’s a bit unusual. I’m again praying for guidance on when to return to it, but so far God’s answer remains “wait.” And I’m still processing how to apply some of the new insights I gained through this conference.

But I had wonderful times of fellowship with friends, and enjoyed some fantastic classes from authors such as Mary Weber, Jim Rubart, Lisa Mangum, and Robert Liparulo. It was so good to meet so many fantastic people for the first time and to reunite with good friends!! And although I didn’t agree with everything in his speeches, keynote speaker Ted Dekker was fascinating, with some really good heart-hitting insights as well.

And I was blessed to wear the “Published” banner on my name tag this year! – bearing testament to the fact that I’ve put out two short stories in the past year. It may feel sometimes like I’ve been spinning my wheels, but I have truly been moving forward in my writing, and I’m so thankful for Threadbare and Dragon Lyric and those who have read and loved them.

Vendor Table

It was also exciting to attend as a full-fledged businessperson with a vendor table. I had Simmering Mind Designs shirts and tote bags for sale, as well as paperbacks of my short stories and prints of the painting on Dragon Lyric’s cover.

Before I launch into some of the other news I have to share, I’d like to mention here that there are still some shirts and art prints left!

These shirts were a custom batch from a local printer, so they’re slightly different from the ones in my Society6 shop, and I’m selling them at the lower conference cost of $22, which will include shipping (although if you’re international you may have to pay for the shipping on that).

If you’re interested in purchasing a shirt or one of the art prints of Roth and Theryn ($18 shipped), please contact me using the contact form at the bottom of this post!

I have varying sizes and colors for these three designs:

  • “Pardon my vacant stare – my mind is another world” (blue, gray, and black)
  • “Ask me about my imaginary friends” (gray and purple, women’s sizes only)
  • “I create worlds – what’s your superpower?” (blue, gray, and black)

Raffle Winner

As those of you who went to Realm Makers may know, that purple bucket on my table was for entries in a giveaway (and signups for my newsletter). I’m excited to announce that the winner of the giveaway was Jamie Foley, who chose a paperback for her prize. Congratulations, Jamie!! You are such a delightful person and I’m so glad I got to meet you at RM! 😀

Author Services Changes

And last but not least, I’d like to announce some changes to my author services page. Due to the busyness of this season of life, I have chosen to step back from line and content editing to focus more on proofreading and one of my other longtime loves – graphic design! I am still offering blurb help, definitely. But I am adding a few new things to my repertoire, so if you’d like help with polishing your work and showing it off to the world with graphics, edited synopses, etc., please check out my author services page – I’d love to work with you! 🙂

Current pricing (click HERE for more info on all services and examples of my design work):

  • Blurb Writing: $25
  • Promo Graphics: $15 each
  • Social Media Headers: $15 each
  • One-Sheet Design and Edit: $30
  • Synopsis, Proposal, or Query Edit: $25 and up – contact me for a free evaluation and price quote
  • Proofreading: $0.0035/word ($350 for a 100,000 word novel) – minimum cost $15

Fill out the form below if you’re interested in buying a shirt or art print! I can also ship signed paperbacks. 🙂