Yes, those are my feet and my Bombas‘ socks 🙂 A little motivation Wednesday mainly as a reminder to myself. But also as a way to ask you: what made you smile today? And full disclaimer: a lot of those thought-processes are easier for me because of years of therapy and a lot of work 😉 And it doesn’t mean I don’t have moments where I focus on the fact that this used to be much easier. Just putting that out there. A few days ago, I did a few relevés and elevés from first position. They were far from perfect. And I can’t stand on the balls of my feet for very long or all the way because I still experience neuropathy and cramping in my feet (and hands) in addition to needing to re-build (or build – ha) muscles. But as I did those exercises, I smiled. Because it felt like progress. Kind of like when you’re writing a sentence that stays with you or when you finally understand your character’s motivation or simply when you write a few words in-between busy times or hard times. I enjoyed this moment when it happened. I smiled like I said. I think I even laughed I was so happy. And I smile as I post it even if my feet and hands are currently cramping. I know I’ll do this exercise again today. And I am revising my first chapters feeling grateful. A reminder to keep going, to keep swimming, to keep writing.
Today’s prompt for #ASummerInWriting is Plotter or Pantser.
A plotter is someone who plans their story before writing it. They outline. They usually know what happens in each chapter. I wish I could underline “usually” because they are many varying degrees and ways of being a plotter or pantser.
When you’re a pantser, the idea is you sit at your computer and write without a detailed outline or a roadmap. A pantser is someone who “flies by the seat of their pants.”
There are a lot of articles detailing both processes as well as the way some authors can be pantsing scenes while plotting chapters or vice-versa 🙂 Jami Gold has a comprehensive article entitled “Pantser vs. Plotter vs. Something In Between” if you’re interested in learning more.
I am a little bit of both.
I don’t have a very detailed outline. I do have a bit of a roadmap. I usually know how the story ends. I mean it’s a romance so there’s a happy ending, but I usually have the epilogue scene playing in my mind like a movie. I know some of the plot points. Buuuuut…I learn about the story and more about my characters as I start typing. Which means that things change. A lot.
Since I started using Scrivener, I write scenes out of order.
I revise them and re-write them as needed and so when I type “The End” on my first draft, it’s in a much different place than for my first novels.
Because I learned that if I just go to the end without going through that process, if I just push through and continue writing the story without going back to change some things, to polish other scenes, to get more into the head of my characters, I end up needing way more time to re-work said first draft. I’ve been known to completely re-write books because that first draft wasn’t working. And I found that it’s more motivating to me and less time-consuming if I write the scenes out of order, re-write them or delete them if they don’t work and if they do work, make them shine as much as I can before typing “The End.
That first draft is not my final manuscript. Far from it. Revisions still happen of course. But once I type “The End” on my first draft, it’s much much closer to being ready to be sent to my critique partners.
So now, my first drafts may take me a bit longer (depending on the novel but I should do another post on that :-)), but they require less work after typing “The End.
Sie hatte sich schon auf dem Weg zur Spitze gesehen…Innerhalb einer Woche aendert sich Natalyas Leben fuer immer.
Die 16-jährige Natalya Pushkaya hat nur einen einzigen Traum: die beste Ballerina zu werden, die es je gegeben hat. Das Tanzen hat schon immer bestimmt, wer sie ist und sie würde alles tun, um die Hauptrolle in der jährlichen Abschlussvorstellung der School of Performing Arts zu landen.
I started writing TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT what seems like forever ago. And yet, I “only” started writing it in March 2018. I was still undergoing chemo for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma then. I was in my 5th month of chemo then. I’m still in treatment today.
MSKCC’s website explains: “Hodgkin lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease) is an uncommon form of lymphoma. It is distinguished by the presence of large abnormal tumor cells called Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg cells. Although Hodgkin lymphoma can occur in both children and adults, it is usually diagnosed in young adults between 20 and 34. ” As per the Leukemia & Lymphoma society, in 2019, there are expected to be 82,310 new cases of lymphoma diagnosed in the US (8,110 cases of HL, 74,200 cases of NHL). You can find some of the symptoms here.
So, yep, this book has been with me through quite a bit.
And since its release is on September 5th, during Lymphoma Awareness month, I decided to run a release month campaign to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
For every purchase of TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT during the month of September, I’ll donate $1 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Plus, when you order and fill out the form below, you’ll receive an exclusive epilogue and you’ll also be entered in a $25 gift card to your favorite bookstore giveaway.
You can pre-order the e-book before September 5th or you can purchase it starting September 5th and during the rest of the month, It is available on all e-retailers. And you can also get a paperback copy on Amazon.
To receive the exclusive epilogue from Lacey’s point-of-view and be entered in the giveaway, you can simply fill out this form.
If you’d like, you can also add it on Goodreads, BookBub, and request it on Overdrive (for your library)
How can I help spread the word?
You can share this post with your friends or on social media. You can share a picture of your order or of the book. I’ve prepared a tweet and a text you can use. And below there are the pictures of the giveaway in different sizes…but your own pictures of the book might actually work better 🙂
Spread the word on Twitter
Click on TweetThis to tweet the following text: Grab your copy of TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT now! For each purchase of the book in September, @enowodazkij will donate $1 to @LLSusa for #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth – Plus, there’s a giveaway and exclusive content. All details here: https://elodienowodazkij.com/tmtmn/
You can share those images (your own images of the book could work better :-)): You can download them (for IG, Twitter, Facebook here )
Sometimes, you just need to enjoy a piece of cake (or whatever is your equivalent of a piece of cake).
Yesterday when I had that piece of cake it made me smile. Granted the company was also pretty good. Yesterday I cried (I didn’t take a picture of my crying face so cake picture it is not 😋). Yesterday, I was full of hope and my hope kind of got crushed a little. But hope is pretty resilient.
Yesterday I had a PET scan which was kind of mixed. On one side, it showed that the mediastinal lymph node I had before reduced in size & in SUV (activity level), which is wonderful news. On the other side, there are new areas of concern. I haven’t seen the full report yet but based on the discussion with my oncologist, it could actually be inflammation due to the immunotherapy.
I’m currently slated to have two more treatments & then undergo an autologous stem cell transplant (with my own stem cells). This has proven curative in Hodgkin’s. It’s better to have a so-called negative PET scan before undergoing said stem-cell, so I want to get another PET before the actual transplant. I might have to fight my insurance for it (again). I’m grateful cancer is no longer a pre-existing condition, because it would have the potential to make everything harder & honestly, I don’t need that.
Immunotherapy is pretty novel before transplant. It has shown to enhance chemo-sensitivity so crossing my fingers that this sequence helps me. I have to talk to my oncologist (again). I’m very thankful to feel like an integral part of the team. My oncologist listens & listens & listens.
I feel well. I’ve recorded several audiobooks. I work out. I got used to the neuropathy in my feet. I’m writing again and my goal is to ensure my next novel TRUST ME, TRUST ME NOT comes out as planned beginning of September (up for pre-order https://amzn.to/2SICKrf 😊)
Yesterday was a whirlwind of emotions. Today I feel better & calmer & happier.
Right now, I’m concentrating on this one step, making sure I’m in the best shape I can & in the best position possible. Right now, I’m thinking of the fun things ahead. Right now, I’m also enjoying the little things & the little moments.
It’s my fifth publishing anniversary or The One With All The Thoughts…First: “The One…” is a reference to Friends’ episodes, I’m not trying to say I’m The One with all the thoughts. That would be a looooot of thoughts 😉 It was either going to be that or It’s my fifth publishing anniversary and I’ll write a blog post if I want to (imagine me singing…or not…you probably shouldn’t, I have a speaking voice :-))
It’s been five years since this picture was taken.
Wow. Five. Years. The Chemical Engineer and I were living in Mainz, in Germany with Peter The Cat. I was working at the European Central Bank as Press Officer. We now live in Maryland with Plato The Dog and Bobbie Voltaire the Cat, where after going back into teaching, I am now writing and narrating. A lot has happened in five years, both publishing and non-publishing wise.
But first, a little or rather big shout-out to my parents who are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary today (June 26th,2019). Forty-five years! And let me just say, it makes my heart full of ❤
Now, when it comes to publishing. In those five years, there has been tears and laughter, total failures and resounding successes.
Some days, I feel like I still have no clue what I’m doing. Others, it feels like I have somewhat of an idea. Publishing has been a roller coaster of emotions. And let me make one thing clear, I am able to do it this way thanks to the Chemical Engineer. I definitely don’t make enough for us to live off my writing. And I’m very grateful he still believes in me after five years.
Five years ago, I published ONE, TWO, THREE…
When I published One, Two, Three, I thought it was going to be an instant bestseller.
You know the kind…even though I since realized that many (maybe most; I’m not sure since I don’t have any hard data) of the overnight successes had actually been in the making for decades.
Anyways, I believed I would wake up the morning of the launch and thousands of copies would have sold. I would be hitting all bestseller lists. Producers would be calling me, begging me to adapt the story for TV. Bookstores would ask me to stock it because people would be asking for it.
On the first day, it sold less than the number of my Facebook friends. Way less. Way way less. And nobody contacted me to adapt it for TV.
But I am still writing and I am still publishing and I am still selling copies of One, Two, Three today. And someone made fan art from the story!
Plus. the French translation got picked up as my option book with a French publisher.
It was retitled VIVRE, AIMER, DANSER… I love that cover!
And I still receive emails from readers who tell me how Natalya’s story has moved them, and how it has helped them somehow, and how much they loved getting to know her and Antonio, and Becca, and James.
Since I published One, Two, Three, I published one novelette (One Dream Only – Natalya’s story 0.5), one novella (A Summer Like No Other – Em & Nick #1) and four novels (Always Second Best, Em & Nick #2, Love in B Minor, Fear Me Fear Me Not and See Me See Me Not).
I went to writer’s retreats with talented writers and amazing human beings ❤
I participated in several authors’ events, and shared the stage with NYT bestseller authors and so many talented authors.
I signed a guitar!
I was featured in the Baltimore Sun.
Recently, I got my first BookBub promotion for FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT. I’ve been trying for 5 years to get a BookBub 🙂 and I loved what they did for the promotion and how well it worked!
Some of my books are even available in audiobook! Like LOVE IN B MINOR which has been gathering wonderful reviews!
I started producing my own audiobooks, like LA PEUR DANS LE SANG (and soon UN SEUL REVE).
I started narrating other people’s books, like this Learning French audiobook.
As well as other audiobooks for which I use a pen name…;-)
During that time, I also got diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (in October 2017). After finding out that I needed to change treatments, I also organized an auction to benefit non-profits who help young adults with cancer. I was blown away by the amount of support I received from the publishing community for the Let’s Do Something Good auction! I mean I even got a signed book from Jenna Fischer! And she retweeted me and tweeted me directly!
I am back in treatment now and it’s not necessarily easy (for many reasons) yet easier (in other ways), but let me tell you: the book I currently have on pre-order, TRUST ME TRUST ME NOT, means a lot to me.
I can’t tell if I love one of my books more than the other, but I can tell you that writing Lacey and Hunter has been cathartic in a lot of ways. Being able to write has been emotional and hard and easy at the same time. Writing always is, but having Lacey trying to move forward, not knowing if she really can has been hitting a spot.
During these past five years, I didn’t reach a point where both The Chemical Engineer and I and our four-legged friends (see pictures below because how cute are they :-)) could live from my income. I loss some (especially at the beginning), I gained some (I actually make profits from my writing now, whoop whoop!).
I still dream of getting contacted by a producer. So if you’re a producer reading this, don’t hesitate 😉
But most importantly, I am grateful I get to write those stories in my head. Writing helps keeping me balanced even when it’s hard and frustrating, I find that it helps me.
I am grateful to my family and friends and everyone who helps me and cheers me on along the way (my talented and generous writer friends, photographer, cover designers, translators, editors and more).
And I’m especially grateful to my wonderful husband (who did get a Best Husband Of The Year Award last year or was it two years ago? :-)). Sometimes I have the feeling that I should do more, try more ways to sell more books (and I do), but even when The Chemical Engineer asks me for Excel sheets for the business side (and full disclosure: we bicker ;-)), I know he believes in me. And that means the world.
And I’m grateful to YOU, dear reader, for taking a chance on my books…and for loving the characters as much as I do ❤
I cannot believe this! FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT is out in the world.
I love love love Dimitri and Erin. I love their story. I cried and I laughed while writing it. And I hope you enjoy their story too. You can get it in e-book and paperback here.
Oh and there’s a book trailer 🙂 It’s the first time I use a book trailer 🙂
Let me know what you think!
Releasing a story in the world is still this incredible mix of exciting and anxiety. On Tuesday, I woke up at 2 a.m. to finalize a few things…and it seemed surreal knowing that Dimi and Erin would soon be in your hands. 🙂 Surreal and amazing.
Thank for your reading! I’m very grateful for all of you!