Aye-aye! Look who it is, mah peeps!
So it’s been a minute and apologies for anyone who’s been seeking my blog posts and left terribly disappointed (quit snickering, it could happen!). Well, I’m back with a new format and a new posting schedule. Part of the reason I’ve slacked off with this is because life has gotten so hectic and managing a blog post every Friday became too much especially in comparison with the other items on my list (more on that later).
But I’ve decided to adjust my blog to more of a newsletter style with monthly updates instead of weekly ones. That way, I can do the Nano thing like I always have but in more of a holistic review versus the typical blow-by-blow. Furthermore, I’ve established a more concrete format, with the information stated in specific categories: Writing updates; reading updates; nephew updates (can’t wait to share those!) and island updates. So, without further ado, here we go!
YA Anime Fantasy Book 1 – Completed the fifth draft and submitted a partial manuscript to an indie publisher on April 30th. On May 18th, I received an email requesting a full manuscript on June 29th. Currently, I’m awaiting word via email whether I’ll be accepted or rejected. Stay tuned.
YA Anime Fantasy Book 2 – Completed the first draft during April’s Camp Nano (after a horrendous laptop crash incident followed by a 3-month waiting time to be fixed due to the global pandemic). Currently, I’m letting the manuscript breathe and I hope to begin edits some time in October.
YA Anime Fantasy Book 3 – Completed 25K of the first draft during July’s Camp Nano (this book’s outline was also trapped with book 2 in the crashed laptop debacle). Currently, I’m working on completing the other 25K for the month of August.
Quarantined With Short Story Project – Completed the character profiles, backgrounds and plot outline. Drafted a few scenes and completed the romance beat sheet. Currently, I’m hoping to have the 1K completed by the end of August. Project must be ready for submission by September.
Middle Grade Contemporary Book 1 – Completed a new plot outline incorporating my betas’ feedback. However, the project will require major rewrites so it will be shelved indefinitely or at least until I complete the YA anime fantasy pentalogy series and can properly focus on this series.
Wiped Out: Murder is a Beach by Tamara Woods – Fraya Taylor moved to Hawai’i to get away from the drama of her hometown and to start fresh. With her zany writing group and her best friend, she’s carved out a quiet life for herself of writing her novels and soaking up the sun.
One day, she was talking story with her bestie in Kailua, HI, sipping her cold brew, and living her magical black girl life, when a scream split the air. Running toward that sound, catapulted her into a world of money, danger, and pro-surfing.
Wiped Out is a cozy mystery novella set in the tropics where friendships and family are just as important as solving the crime.
Midnight Murder by Tamara Woods – A cozy mystery novella set in the small town of Whisper Valley about a teenager named Isa; her cousins, Fraya and Nay-Nay and their eccentric Aunty Maybel.
Will post my reviews on Goodreads at the end of August.
Remember my nephew who was born during April’s Camp Nano in 2018? Well, that kid turned two this year. Yup, the terrible twos. A moment of silence for our peace of mind.
The thing is, nobody warns you about this phase. And we are praying it’s just a phase! I remember when I was younger, all my mother had to do was cast a look that could penetrate the walls and defy space and time to reach on my end and I knew—immediately—whatever I was planning to do; don’t do it! Well, that trait seems to have skipped my loving nephew. This Generation Alpha is something else…
Any kid born after 2018, seems to possess a type of determination that I’ve never witnessed. It’s actually quite admirable. I wished I was that brave and determined; to never give up until I got it right. When nephew was a few months old, he was trying to hold his neck up and you could see the frustration every time his head fell back because his little neck muscles weren’t strong enough. He looked as though he’d been betrayed by his own feeble body. But I digress.
Nobody warns of the terrible twos and those that do, withhold a lot of information. These “chip babies” can’t even formulate a sentence and yet have the ability to decode your password or get past your firewall despite being too short to see the laptop monitor. And let’s not forget there’s a global pandemic so where nephew would’ve gone off to daycare each morning; had other kids to play with and plenty of room to run around expelling his “warrior energy”, he has to do that in the animal house.
Sidenote: Why do I call it the animal house? Because my home is a revolving door for people. There’s always a neighbour, friend, or family member hanging out in our gallery till the wee hours of the morning. Furthermore, there are five people who permanently reside in our home: My mother, older brother, younger sister, my nephew (my sister’s son) and my uncle (who lives downstairs and is currently renovating). Our maternal grandmother lived with us until her passing in 2013. Plus, my aunt, uncle and cousin live two blocks away while my aunt lives one block away. This style of living might sound weird to American and Europeans but it’s perfectly normal in the Caribbean (more on that later). But the animal house analogy holds true especially for Sunday lunch “limes” (Trini slang for a party or gathering) and game nights.
Speaking of Caribbean tradition, I know that it’s typical in American culture (perhaps European too, I’m not sure) for the young adult to move out of their parents’ house and start “adulting” when they’re eighteen. They get a job, their own place and are able to exercise what their parents had taught them over the years while they were under the parental roof. Indeed a valuable lesson.
In the Caribbean, however, the moving out portion usually takes place when the young adult gets married. They’ll leave their mother and father and cleave to their new partner. But if they’re not married, what tends to happen is they remain at home and contribute towards the bills. For instance, my mother is retired so my brother, sister and I cover the utility bills and the groceries. It’s almost like living in a commune, I imagine. We grew up that way (since family was nearby, there was always an adult available) and now nephew will grow with that same “it takes a village” environment or as I like to call it the “She-Wolf Pack” (since my mother, sister and I do the lion’s share of that work).
But in some parts of Trinidad, even when they marry, they’ll build on their family’s land a separate home but still close enough for the parents to visit. This is especially great when the grandkids are born. I have to say that since the COVID outbreak, I’ve been so grateful to live in a house full of people (who granted, drive me crazy sometimes) but I can’t imagine dealing with this pandemic and having to socially distance myself if I was living alone in an apartment. I work remotely from home and write during my spare time; the isolation would’ve killed me—guaranteed. So, as weird as my animal house sounds, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Well, I’m babbling again, which usually means it’s time to sign off. Lemme buss it, for now. Remember to take the island breath and when the world gets crazy, keep calm and write on!
Till next time,