When Writing Doesn’t Happen

When writing doesn’t happen, because life is happening and you can’t stop to write . . . it’s okay.

When writing doesn’t happen, because the worlds are alive in your head but they won’t go on the page yet . . . it’s okay.

When writing doesn’t happen, even though we’re halfway into the first month of that year you were really going to start working toward those writing dreams . . . it’s okay.

When writing a blog post hasn’t happened, because it’s late and your brain doesn’t function and your week has been too busy to allow time for writing a post . . . it’s okay.

It’s okay
because plans go amiss
and life goes awry
and all those dreams don’t always work out
but sometimes they work out better than you planned
because off the beaten path
and off the line on the map you’ve drawn
may be better than anything
you could have wished for.

It’s okay
because if the worlds are alive in your head
there’s no need to fear (like you are secretly fearing)
that they will never be caught on the page again
because that will only happen if you are afraid.
But there’s no need to fear.

It’s okay
because two weeks is not make-it-or-break-it
especially when life is busy
and not having started toward that dream
doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

It’s okay
because if you don’t post on your blog one week
nobody will notice or care or be upset at you
and the world will not end.

When writing doesn’t happen . . .

. . . it’s okay.

I promise.

Because you can always try again.

Because the negative space of “I haven’t…” is not stronger than the positive space of “I have.”

And between the two is “I will” — a dream, and a promise, and a hope for the future.

So we’ll write when we can. And when we can’t . . . it’s okay.

When the busy week is up, or when the worlds are bursting to come forth onto the page, or when the new year calms down and you stop worrying about how much you’re getting done (or not getting done), or when the blog inspiration is there . . . then you will write.

The words will be there. Later. When they’re ready.

These are things I’m trying to learn, so I thought I would share them, in case they help you too.

Sometimes you need to try. But other times . . . you need to let the road surprise you, and relax on the journey.

Sometimes you find Narnia when you’re not looking for it.

And sometimes, just sometimes, when you’re not trying . . . is when you succeed.

And oh, look, I have a blog post after all. 🙂


New Year, New Dreams

Oh, look, 2017 is over. Imagine that.

I now greet you from the amazing FUTURISTIC YEAR 2018. (Seriously though, who gave that number permission? I swear it’s still 2013…)

I’ll get to some quick writerly highlights of 2017 in a minute, but first…

Now is about the correct time to list goals and resolutions for the year.

But they’re funny things, goals.

They are things to mark off, and every moment spent NOT marking them off (other than moments spent actively working toward them, of course) can be seen as a failure… (Or is that just me? *cough*)

Which means that most of the time, goals can leave a person deciding to throw in the towel and move to the Alps to live with the goats instead.

(And don’t get me started on Resolutions, because those can be even worse. The second you break one: NOPE, DONE.)

Dreams, though… Dreams are different.

Dreams, you’re allowed to — well — dream them. And yes, you work toward them if/when you can, but they’re something more elusive; maybe they happen and maybe they don’t; maybe they’re out of your control but you can hope anyway; and maybe, just maybe, one day they’ll come true… especially if you work on them.

Dreams are less guilt-oriented and less of a rigid To Do List You Must Mark Off Or Else You Are Not A Decent Human And It’s Alps And Goats For You. (Don’t ask about the analogy, just… yeah, just roll with it.)

That’s why, here at the start of 2018, instead of resolutions or goals, I’m going to share some of my writerly dreams.

2018 Writer Dreams

  • Finish another novel. Not particularly picky as to which one, though The Siren and the Skyship would be my first choice at the moment.
  • Finish the short stories I started. (The Treasure of A Distant Storm, The Tangled Thicket of Perilous Perrifeld, Hairdo Havoc.)
  • Stop getting hung up on perfection and not-starting and just WRITE A LOT.
  • Which also means not getting distracted or letting other things get in the way of actually letting myself have some writing time. (This is harder than you might think.)
  • Start a newsletter. (Is this a terrible or awesome idea? Please advise!)
  • Start Instagramming. (I actually have one, I just… can’t post there yet because you need a smartphone to do so. *cough*)
  • Start a Facebook page. (Shocking, I know…)
  • Set up my official website. Which I’ve only been meaning to do forever. (Don’t worry, this blog and my book blog aren’t going anywhere! I’d just like a central hub, is all. Because #professional. And because — let’s be honest — MORE PRETTY WEBSITES!)
  • Get a crystal fox from The Last Jedi for a pet. (Wait, what? How did THAT show up on my writing dream list? O_O Ahem. Moving on…)
  • Spend more time with the stories and characters I love most. Like Tare and co., The Other Half of Everything, and The Siren and the Skyship. Speaking of which…

  • Develop the sequels to The Siren and the Skyship. (Yes, it’s a trilogy now. Yes, I know I haven’t finished the first one. Yes, there are more fairytales, though I’m not 100% as to which. Yes, I’m insane. Shush.)
  • Get my freelance proofreading/copyediting business off the ground. (This is the part where I get annoying and actually *gasp* market my services, and say: “Does anyone need a book edited? I love catching typos! I’m good at it, too!” But I’ll skip that part, because it’s boring. XD Oh, wait…)
  • Be more open about my writing dreams and thoughts on my blog. Wait, what? Isn’t that what this post is about? Well, yes. I’m not saying I’m not open and honest on this blog, because I am. But I’m somewhat of a shy, introspective person, and I was realizing I don’t actually share about things that really MATTER to me and are important to me, like my deeper struggles about publishing and writing and all of those goals and things. Would anyone care, I wonder? Is it only me? Sometimes I don’t share my writing goals because I’m afraid of failing; because, somehow, I expect to fail — and I need to stop that. So being more open with you, my lovely readers, might be a step in a better direction. Tare and I need to realize we need our Chess Club. (That’s you.) And as much as he and I like to work alone… “it’s more friendly with two.” 🙂
  • Figure out what on earth I plan to do about publishing, because I’m dreadfully confused and have been for years now. I think I’m pinning down some of what’s going on with my struggle, but it hasn’t shown the answer yet. I should probably post about this…
  • Speaking of: Write more awesome blog posts. And have a giveaway or two, because those are fun. And basically continue (hopefully) epicness and keep all involved happy. (Everyone: me, you, and the pixel-fairies who carry the words between us across the tangled web of internet. No idea where that came from. It must be getting late, y’all.)
  • Gather all the info I’ve accumulated over the years about publishing and marketing and make a sort of list of said tips. Because I feel like I know and have learned SO MANY THINGS, and would kind of like to see how much there is.
  • Get closer to publishing something, somehow.
  • (And… while I’m dreaming — hey, why not a really big one that I have no idea if it’s even feasible?) I would love to be able to go to Realm Makers this year. 😉 No idea if it could even happen, but it would be nice!

(My inner editor is squirming about that missing comma before “darling.” Unfortunately, my editing does not extend to gifs… Also, yes, I went from Tangled to Inception; problem? I have wide tastes. XD)

2017 Writing Highlights

  • Wrote a total of 86,000 words.
  • Wrote 5 short stories (Wintertale, A Tale of Two Boxes, a Kedran’s Wood “fanfiction” for myself and Lauri, Invisible Beauty, and Tare and the Puppies) — 3 of which I shared online! *shocking*
  • Started two other short stories (The Treasure of A Distant Storm, and The Tangled Thicket of Perilous Perrifeld. Wow, their titles are almost short stories in themselves…)
  • I hardly ever write short stories, so working on 7 this year has been very interesting.

  • Some work on Kedran’s Wood 2 (which is getting long and rambly and unwieldy; I should do something about that).
  • Also dibs and dabs of The Other Half of Everything, which is at around 15K words, despite not having a complete chapter written. XD (Writing things out of order and only when you’re 110% inspired is fascinating. If I ever get it done, it’s going to be the most awesome book ever, is all I’m saying.)

  • Started The Siren and the Skyship (and got maybe halfway).
  • So many plot ideas and lightbulb inspiration moments and restructuring of various books and series. There’s a lot going on in the fictional worlds inside my head, lately! I’M SO EXCITED.
  • Met with many amazing writer friends throughout the year. It’s been incredible! ❤
  • Participated in my 8th NaNoWriMo (as well as two Camp NaNo sessions, even though I didn’t plan on either. XD) and won.
  • Was an ML for my NaNo region for the 5th time, and ran a writing group sometimes.

  • Was in print for the first time! (Okay, not really… I was in a print copy of the collected Tales from a Modern Bard stories from that blog, which just the authors got copies of. But I did get to hold in my hands something with a story of mine printed in it! Thanks to Hazel!)
  • Got my first fan-art from the lovely Skye! (Thank you! ❤ )
  • Did lots of beta-reading and editing and such.
  • Built the Vintage Jane Austen website — such a joy to work with these talented authors! It’s been beautiful seeing this series release into the world this last year!
  • Was part of the second annual SilmAwards!
  • Announced my freelancing services.
  • Wrote more or less 50,000 words of book reviews this year. (Er… yeah… I write them in Scrivener and it tells me I’m pretty close to that, and I know I wrote some I didn’t put in there, so… yeah, more or less. Plus other blog posts, so who KNOWS how much of that there’s been. No wonder I don’t write as much fiction as I used to! O_O It’s been fun, though!)
  • Started a bullet journal. (Not super writerly, but it does keep me vaguely organized. I’m so excited to be starting a new one for the New Year today! The blue journal pictured in the header image of this post.)
  • Wrote in my writer’s journal every week this year. (Wow! o.o)
  • Posted 50 posts here on The Road of a Writer, and 66 posts on The Page Dreamer.
  • I’m positive I’m missing something EXTREMELY important, but this will have to do. XD

I’ll be sharing my top 15 favorite books I read in 2017, on my book blog soon, so watch out for that!

So, there you have my 2017 and a look forward to this new (futuristic *coughcough*) year of 2018!

And as I type this on New Year’s Eve, there’s snow on the ground outside, which is practically unheard of around here…

So you see, dreams do come true.


Happy New Year, my beloved Roadlings! May you have a most glorious and fantastic one indeed! ❤

How was your 2017 and what are some of your dreams for this year?

Million Dollar Writer Tag


This one was a tag from Sarah @ Light and Shadows, the If I Had a Million Dollars: Writer Edition Tag! Which . . . er . . . rather explains itself, methinks.


  • Post the picture
  • Link back to the person who tagged you
  • List 10 things you’d buy or do if you had a million dollars (preferably writing-related, but whatever works)
  • Tag some other writers

Ten Things

(Keep in mind this is for fun, so if I ACTUALLY suddenly got a million dollars, I’d probably do things a lot differently, for actual life things and for others, etc., but still. This is focusing on writerly things…)

  1. Get a new laptop after mine is gone. I love my current one but it’s turning 5 years old next month and the wear and tear is beginning to get to it… (Battery lasts like 3 minutes, overheats, cable is bent, mouse clicker is loose, the “A” key has a tendency to fall off, etc…) It’s working surprisingly well though, those little things aside, and I’m so thankful for that! I so hope it will last a long time…
  2. Books. Looots of books.
  3. More bookshelves. To hold the lots of books.
  4. …A new house to hold the bookshelves. Preferably a lovely piece of forested land somewheres. *nods* There would be a whole room at least devoted to being a library…
  5. I would also give SO many books of various kinds to friends. It would be absolutely lovely.
  6. Go to a few writer’s conferences. (You thought I was going to get totally distracted by bookish things and forget the writing part, right? XD)
  7. DASH AROUND THE COUNTRY AND VISIT ALL MY WRITER FRIENDS!! That would totally be inspirational, and just downright fun. ❤
  8. Travel to the British Isles. I’d spend several months exploring Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, England, the Isle of Man…
  9. Open a bookstore probably. Because why not. And it would have comfy nooks for reading, and sell coffee and snacks (probably snacks from books) and have a meeting room in the back for writer meetings, and…
  10. Publishing. Possibly self-publish my books if I could afford to get the word out and do everything right as far as covers/editing/marketing etc.? (Or maybe I could just be so well off that I meet the right higher-ups people in some big publishing company, which would be awesome too. *shrug*)

Bonus — 11: Start a writer/bookish conference of my own somewhere near where I live and entice all my writer/bookish friends to come see me there! …Actually I should seriously do this one. *nods* CALLING ALL TEXAN AUTHORS/WRITERS/BLOGGERS/BOOKWORMS — WANNA MEET IN THE MIDDLE SOMEWHERE? 😛


How about you? Any dreams if you suddenly had a million dollars? XD You are officially tagged if you wish to do it! ^_^

Liebsterish Encore and Versatile Blogger Award

Firstly, I want to say — WOW, I love all the discussion that came out of my last post on books! That was fantastic. Thanks for weighing in in the comments, y’all! You are all so awesome, with such great thoughts, and discussing books is the BEST. 😀

Secondly, if you haven’t heard, Beyond the Mask just released on DVD!!! *cue excited squealing* I just rewatched it and alksdjflksjdlkj IT’S SO FABULOUS I LOVE IT SO MUCH. ❤ If you haven’t gotten a copy yet, you simply MUST. It’s such a wonderful movie, so much fun, so well done, so epic…! Masked-man, humor, 1700s, right before the Revolutionary War, John Rhys-Davies, fabulous acting, awesome costumes and sets, HUMOR, action, a touch of sweet romance, a theme of redemption, lovable characters, sheer epicness… WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE? It’s at bunches of Walmarts (at the moment), and, I hear, also Christian bookstores, and online. So go find it! Go go!



Okay, now I got those important thoughts out of the way, onward to the actual post! It’s about time I caught up on some tags again… *rubs hands gleefully*


I was, once again, nominated for the Liebster Award, this time by Sara Letourneau — thank you, Sara!

I’ve done it before but thought it would be fun to answer the questions anyway.


Here are the rules, which I’m mostly ignoring today because I am lazy. 😉 But feel free to snag this tag for your own blog if you wish!

  1. Once you are nominated, make a post that thanks the person who nominated you and links back to their article.
  2. Include the Liebster Award sticker in your post.
  3. Nominate 7 to 10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
  4. Answer the 10 questions asked to you by the person who nominated you.
  5. Make 10 questions of your own for your nominees.
  6. Lastly, copy these rules in the post.
  7. All of the nominees are free to accept or reject the nomination.


1. Pick one of your favorite writers. What do you admire most about their work?

Diana Wynne Jones. And… everything? Her books are just so hilarious but also have wonderful story worlds, fabulous mind-blowing plot twists, and brilliant characters who I love; and they’re even deep books when you go to look beyond the surface. But… well, I guess, mostly the humor and the characters. I wish I could write like that. I just… love everything of hers I’ve read. ❤

2. Do you have any weaknesses or guilty pleasures when it comes to food? If so, what?

Well, chocolate? But I maintain that’s not a weakness — it’s necessary. 😉 I like sweets; I guess that’s a guilty pleasure, even if I don’t necessarily eat them often. Also anything noodley/Italian. YES. ❤

3. What was the most daring or adventurous thing you did as a child?

Ha! Haha. How about… nothing? I don’t think I’ve ever been a very adventurous person. I do remember once sleeping in a non-heated house on an extremely cold night, just to prove I could. That’s probably the most daring thing I can come up with, and it wasn’t very. 😛

4. If you could visit any city, country, or landmark in the world that you’ve haven’t been to yet, where would you go?

The British Isles! All of the scenery and history… Mostly Scotland and Ireland, but also Wales and Cornwall and Stonehenge and… Yes.

5. What is your favorite type of setting? In other words, do you prefer beaches, lakes, mountains, cities, forests, etc.?

Forests, hands-down! They are the most beautiful, and relaxing-feeling, but also mysterious and… I don’t know. They just feel the best and look the best and I love forests.

6. What literary trope are you most tired of reading about?

I think I’ve mentioned this before, and I’m not sure if it counts, but I’m sick of the tough-girls. They simply annoy me to no end.

7. On the flipside, what is one thing you’d like to see more of in published novels?

Heists and con-artists, please! There are not enough of these tales. But they are just so fun. I keep looking for more…

8. What birthday or holiday gift do you cherish most?

The latest was Illusionarium by Heather Dixon. I so enjoyed that book! *flailing and fangirling squeals* *huggles it*

9. If you could invent one thing (technology, household appliance, computer program or app, etc.) that currently doesn’t exist, what would it be?

Well, probably some sort of thing to manipulate time so that I wouldn’t always waste it (ha!) and so I’d have time to do all the things I want; or maybe something that automatically transfers my stories in my head, perfectly, into words on paper. Yes. I’d like that.

10. What’s your favorite kind of weather? Do you prefer rainy days over sun, snow over heat, etc.?

After such a hot summer, I’m thinking COOL WEATHER AND RAIN PLEASE. But I don’t really know. I tend to change my mind to whatever is NOT currently happening. (I’m difficult to please and flighty like that.)



I was also tagged by Rachana for the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you, Rachana! I’d never gotten this one before… Makes me feel specials. ^_^ Check out her blog, do!


  • Thank the person who gave you this award — of course.
  • Include a link to their blog. They deserve to have some credits too.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

I’m once again ignoring rules; sorry, I’m a rebel today. But here are some random facts…

7 Things About Me

1 – I’m really really super bad at coming up with facts about myself. (That’s a fact!)

2 – My hair is brown and longish and has a reddish tint in sunlight; I say it’s because of my Irish ancestors.

3 – I can play the pennywhistle, and I’m better at it with my eyes closed than open; my fingers know where to go unless I’m looking at them trying to remember for them.

4 – I love owls and have a painting of one on my wall, and also a wooden key-chain of one from Japan that my dear cousin gave me. It is adorable and I love it. ❤

5 – I love doing calligraphy, especially with Tolkien’s Elvish alphabet, Tengwar, even if I haven’t done much with it in a very long time.

6 – I dream a lot, and my dreams are usually extremely strange and fairly vivid; many of my story ideas are from dreams.

7 – I will sit and endlessly stare at the books on my bookshelf and daydream about what the books will be like when I read them. (Yes, I should probably just READ them to find out; but time! Time is key! And I don’t have it! Plus, books are just gorgeous to look at. DO NOT DENY IT.)


(By the way, for the record… Who DOES like being tagged? Because I like being tagged — even if I don’t always get around to it — but I always have a hard time coming up with bloggers to tag in turn, especially not wanting to tag people all the time… And I’m not sure who likes tags?)

I’m not officially tagging anybody, but like I said, if you want to do either (or both!) on your blog, consider yourself officially tagged!