Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sleep, Why Must You Evade Me?

So, it's well past midnight here in AZ and I've yet to sleep.

Why, body?! Why?

Here's the thing...finally being able to find a creative outlet is sort of a weight lifted. I went years (after high school) sort of walking around blind. If you knew me then, you'll know I lived and breathed singing. Singing was everything. I spent every waking moment dedicating my life to it. If I wasn't actually singing, I was studying music, technique and the logistics of it. I wanted to be the best at what I did. Go big, or go home, right? So, that's what I did. I strived to be a role model. Was I one? Hell if I know. I'd like to think I made even a little bit of an impression on the people I came into contact with, but really, how could I know that? That's beside the point...I'm rambling.

I graduated and lost contact with who I was. What I wanted to do. I went to work with special needs children and I liked it. Did I love it? No. My kids were amazing. I still miss them. But, I'm creative. And Jesus, that sounds so damn cliche. "Oh, I'm a creative." LAME. But, I want to do things that don't consist of the everyday norm. I changed my college major more times than I'd like to admit simply because I got bored. Everyday, I'd go to class, do the mundane assignments, turn it in and yawn. I didn't want the day-to-day life. This artistic side was screaming, begging to come out and be heard, but I shut it up. I thought that part of my life was done. Singing isn't an "adult" thing to want to pursue. First of all, I'm not good enough to do it. I'm a choral singer. Plain and simple. Put me with two other girls and I shine. I love making music with others. But, put me in a solo position and I bomb. Straight into the ground, burying myself along the way. And unless you're going to go to a big choral school, striving for a choral career was not easy. I gave up. There...I said it. I gave up on myself.

I was walking around without a map. And mapless Cassie sucks. She latched onto anything just to feel something. Anything. But, it never came. I found my husband. He put light into my world of confusion. He helped me find myself. But, even he couldn't really help pull me out of my funk. I was mad.

Then, one night, after I got married, my husband was away, training for the Air Force, when I decided I was going to stop being an idiot and I was going to figure my shit out.

I'd always loved to write. I was told often in high school that I was a decent writer. I had a two teachers who literally read my assigned journal entry everyday to dissect it. At the time, I blew it off.

Singing...that's what I was going to do.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Anyway, back on topic. One night--or morning--I remember coming home late from being out with friends, alone in my apartment, writing characteristics down on a piece of paper. Something in me needed to live. I had these lives in my brain they wanted out.

If I recall correctly, it was super cold that year. I lived on the 3rd story of the apartment building and I heard a young couple outside proclaiming their love to each other. At the time, I didn't think anything about it. I closed my notebook and hid it away. A year later, I found the notebook and flipped to the character list and re-read it. It was very much an ode to my life with my husband. A couple deeply in love, never wanting to part. Instant love. (I know, I know. We hate insta-love) But, my story started that way. Adam and I fell quick. It was easy. To love him was like breathing. I didn't have to think about it. It was like a knee-jerk reaction. The first night he kissed me...I knew. You can wave me off and not believe me, but it's the truth. That was almost nine years ago and I love him more now than I could ever imagine.


At that time, we lived in Tucson at our duty station and I didn't think I could do anything about it. Again, I shut that notebook and stowed it away. We moved 3 times before I dug that notebook back out and really decided to bite the bullet and do something with my life. I had had my daughter, and we got out of the Air Force, it was time to finally do something for me. I needed to find a way to make my heart happy.

So, I outlined...

.....and outlined....

Oh yeah, more outlining.

Then, I finally started to write my story.

And it didn't go the way I thought it would. At all. Like, not one ounce. The only aspect that stayed intact was the love the two characters felt for each other. That never changed. But, everything else, pshhh, it all went out the window. I wrote close to 80,000 words and decided I hated the story. I hit DELETE and started all over again. All. Over. Again.

I cried...a lot. I didn't sleep. When you have characters that want to be written, you're sort of on their time. Human time doesn't mean shit to characters.

So, here I am. Human time is sleeping. Human Cassie is passed out in bed, snoring. But, Writer Cassie is up, at fucking one A.M., listening to her characters ramble on about how they want to be written.

I'm talking in 3rd person...

So, I'm stuck in this constant pull of taking notes and watching my blinking curser. There are some days, like today, it doesn't matter how many notes I've written, I can't get the story out. Being blocked is a bitch. I've got pages upon pages of outlines and notes and I have no idea what to write...

Here's hoping I get some sleep tonight....

So much love,



Monday, July 7, 2014

A Little News

So, I wanted to let you guys know what is in store for the next year!

Anyone But Him should be released the week of Thanksgiving. THANKSGIVING!!! Here's hoping that actually happens. I'm writing my tush off to get it to you ASAP. Jennings is easy to write, though, so I'm thinking it'll work out. Synopsis will be released in August for my birthday.

The next installment of the Unable Series will be Brent's story. And if you read UtR, you'll know that some serious shit is going to go down. I'll release the title soon. It should be released by May of next year. Possibly earlier depending on how Anyone But Him goes.

I'm also writing a novella for the Unable Series that I'm hoping to just offer for free. I'll keep you posted. The first half of it will be in a compilation of stories that myself and the authors of an event I'm doing next year. That will be released...I don't know when. But the proceeds are going to the Make A Wish Foundation, and I think that's pretty badass. When I get more details, I'll let you know. Get excited though because there are TONS of amazing authors that will be featured in this book.

The third and final installment of the Unable Series will be Jason's story. I can't wait to write him. He seems to be everyones favorite character, and he's already screaming in my head to be written. That'll be released next year, probably in the summer.

So for now, this is all I've got for you. Three books and a novella in the next year.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Heart Can't Take it--A letter to My Daughter

There are some things that I can easily take. i.e. The sweltering heat here in AZ. Having to take out all of the sweets in my house because I refuse to get any fatter. *Giggle* Hell, a punch on the arm. (Okay, that one was lame, but still...)

What I can't handle are all of these kind words I'm receiving from bloggers and readers. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think people would embrace this crazy story of mine. My heart is so full. I'm having a hard time not crying.

All of this is happening and I'm still so thankful. I don't expect anything. Nothing. At all. I'm flabbergasted that people are even taking the time to read it.

I mean--people are reading my words. They are opening up the book and actually reading the whole thing.

This can't be my life.

How did this happen?

I can't get over it.

I'm not writing this post to boast. Really--it's my round-about way of getting to a point. One I think we all need to hear. Specifically my daughter.

Sweet Ju Ju, 

Honey, there will come a day when you'll get praise. A lot of it. You're already amazing and you're only two, I can't wait to see what you do when you're older. Anyway, there will be a day when you do something great. Perfect, even. 

Keep a level head. Don't let the praise get to you. Take it and brush it off. Take the kind words the same as you would the criticism. 

Don't let it phase you. 

(You'd probably like to know that as I type this, you smashed your little toe in between the TV stand and your rocking horse. You came over, received a kiss on your boo-boo and shook it off.)

Always be this way. Take the hit. Accept it. Embrace it. The harsh words and the mean people, let them fuel your fire. Let each disapproval make you better. 

Let a few tears fall over the haters, let their words sink in. But then, let them sink. To the bottom. Forget them. 

You are worthy. You are amazing. Find a way to rise from the ashes of their condemnation and be great. 

Do what makes you happy. Do what makes you proud. 

There are very few things I've done in this world that make me as proud as I am of you. 

You and your father are my everything. My entire world. My existence. But now that I've found writing, I can add that to the list. 

I hope you can feel this way, one day.

Find what makes you happy to live. I don't care what it is. I'll always encourage you. You want to run off and be an actor? Hell yes, let's move to L.A.. You want to go and join the circus? I'll find a traveling one so that you can do what you love in a different state. 

Listen to me. You can't make everyone happy. Do what makes Be who makes you, you. There is only one you, make her good. 

Please, be grateful for everything. Take nothing for granted because as soon as the good comes, the bad might follow.

Be prepared for both. And when the bad does come, handle it with grace. No one likes a whiney ass. :) 

I love you, sweet girl. Today, yesterday and always,

Love, Mama

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