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The Ballad of Mercy May; 0003

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Nor can she recall where she came from, how old she might be, or even her own name. Her memory is as still as the grove around her.

But neither remain that way for long.

Something is tickling at the edge of the woman’s perception, like a low hum that she feels more than hears. The vibrations are almost comforting in their own way, and for several moments the woman is content to lay amongst the leaves and listen to them intensify. Yet, as the sound sharpens and becomes clear, she realizes what she is hearing: the deep, guttural growls


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Thursday Words

Mid-Year Review ’22, Electric Boogaloo

Hello friends and welcome to another progress update on Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer. 

It’s kind of hard to believe, but tomorrow marks the halfway point of the year. I’d like to say that the first six months of 2022 flew by, but honestly they’ve been kind of a drag. I’ve had ideas quit on me, freelance contracts fail to materialize, and a real sense of regression settle over me after what I felt was a really strong year in 2021. 

There have been high points too, of course. The realization that I have the mental capability and creative stamina to be a stay-at-home writer was a big one. The launch of Drabble Rock has been a real mood booster as well. And lets not forget I still have World Con to look forward to. 

That being said, it is more than fair to say that I am falling short of the goals I made for myself at the start of the year. 

Among those lofty dreams were such aims as: 

  1. Write 160,000 words in fantasy projects. 

Mid-year check-up: still possible, but unlikely. I haven’t written much at all this year, so I’m basically starting from 0. If I still want to hit that goal I’ll need to write almost 1000 words every day from now until New Years.

Don’t! temptmeFrodo
  1. Write 8 novellas for Scribd.

Mid-year check-up: Not happening. This isn’t entirely my fault, as we had a change in editors this year that has not exactly been smooth. I’ve done one so far, waited almost two months on pitches only to be rejected, and submitted two more pitches that I’m still waiting to hear back on. Even if I manage to do one a month for the rest of the year, that will only give me seven. Sad, especially for my bank account, but what can you do?

  1. Figure out how to sell my own ebooks.

Mid-year check-up: Working on it! I’ve asked about getting the ebooks from my publisher after the exclusivity period is up, next I just need to figure out how to release them successfully. I’m working on dolling up a Patreon for when I start getting the ebooks, but I’m still really unsure of how to go about it. Still, making progress. 

  1. Release a “serialized” novel. 

Mid-year check-up: In progress! Granted, I’m releasing one hundred words at a time and only two entries in, but hey, I made the commitment and I’ve got the project going. It still needs some fine tuning (obviously I’ll have to post more than once a week if I want to finish the story before I’m dead), but its launched. 

So a mixed bag, though it should be noted that my two “do or die” goals are the ones most certain to fail. 

guess i’ll just die

Bearing these various successes and failures in mind, I’ve been thinking about adjusting my expectations for the rest of the year. 

Six months ago I intended to write two story paths of The Nexus, which has since been shelved pending deeper world building. Today I would like to commit to writing the first Seekers of Empyrean novella and one of the cozy fantasy ideas that was rejected by my editor. Completing both at their target word counts would bring total words written up to 135,000 (closer to 750 words per day if anyone’s counting). That’s not too bad a compromise, right? 

Not to mention, that isn’t even counting the words I’ll be adding to The Ballad of Mercy May. Sure, it’s only 100 words at a time, but I figure I will start ramping up how many times per week I’ll be posting entries. By the end of December I would like to be up to three Ballad posts per week.

Lastly, I would like to have the majority (if not all) of my 2021 novellas with Scribd posted to my Patreon before the year is out. By then the exclusivity period will be up for all six published so far (I’m pretty sure, anyway) and I’ll be free to make some additional pennies off my hard work. Who doesn’t love that? 

I think those are some fair and reasonable goals that I have complete control over. No one but me will be to blame if I don’t meet them. 

As for things outside of my control I would like to see happen, I’ve got two things in mind:

  • write 4 more novellas for Scribd
  • reach 150 followers here on Just Another Struggling Writer

Taken as a whole, I think if I can nail most of these goals before the clock strikes 2023 I can count this year as a win. 


I meant to write the first edition of WIP Wednesday yesterday but then I laid down on my couch at 8:00 and didn’t wake up again until my alarm went off. Oops. It works out though, since I still don’t have much to talk about seeing as how I really HAVEN’T WRITTEN ANYTHING IN THE LAST SEVEN DAYS. 

We’ll kick it off next week, barring any unforeseen naps.


Look at me getting this blog post done early. Until next time my friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi


Scribd subscribers, click here to find my romance novellas!

Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; Week 3


kneel


Mhazara has never curtsied in her life, and she’s not about to start. However, with the painfully tight bodice she’d been strapped into, she knows bowing would be nothing short of a disaster. And so, when the prince approaches, she has no choice but to drop to a knee before him.

She can feel the draw of a dozen eyes fall upon her shoulders, can hear the murmurs of surprise, can practically taste the prince’s confusion, even without the aid of her gift, but she brooks no embarrassment.

“Your Highness,” she murmurs, surprising even herself with her deference. “Welcome home.”

Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Two of Cups

Hello friends and welcome to another willful week of writing.

The last few weeks have been on the stressful side for me, but a reprieve at last approaches. Today is my last day writing for the marketing firm I’ve been freelancing with the last six weeks. I’ll be honest: I didn’t really care for the work and it definitely didn’t pay enough to be worth what I put into it, but I am glad I tried it. Now I know for sure it’s not for me. And I made a few bucks on the side.

With that behind me, I am feeling so light and free, and capable of anything. I mentioned a few weeks back that I felt like I had come to a turning point. It may have taken me a while to get back up to speed after making that turn, but with this unburdening coming after today, I am at last ready to go full throttle.

This confidence is due in large part to the mental labor (and it has been some serious labor) I have been putting into improve my perennial anxiety and relax frankly absurd expectations of myself. I am learning to accept that I cannot be the writer I want to be under present circumstances because I want to be a writer that stays at home and writes 12 books a year. I want to the kind of writer that has a podcast and a successful website where people congregate. I want to be the kind of writer that can subsist on creativity alone.

But, honestly, I haven’t done any of the work to earn that yet. As much as I want to be able to quit my job to write full time, I can’t. I have to put in the time and energy, blood, sweat, and tears, and a shit ton of hard work. And, yeah, sometimes it fucking feels like an oxymoron. How am I supposed to generate an income I can live off of by writing if I never have any time to write?

By paying my dues. And accepting that I’m never going to get anywhere if I keep spinning the wheels of anxiety against the mud of low self-esteem and sky-high expectations.

I’m a flawed writer. I hate drafting and I am always abandoning projects before they’re fully formed for the new shiny idea. If I don’t have a deadline, being productive feels like pulling teeth. I like talking about writing and listening to writers talk about writing sometimes more than actual writing.

I’ve spent the better part of the last five years fruitlessly trying to change all these things, and the only thing I’ve accomplished is a shit ton of disappointment and self-deprecation.

So, I’m abandoning the idea of change and embracing the concept of making my flaws work for me. Maybe, just maybe, if I spend the energy I’ve been wasting on trying to “fix” myself on more productive endeavors (like, you know, being creative), then perhaps I’ll finally see some movement in this long, arduous journey of becoming a full time writer.

And that’s my motivation this week.


I expect to have two drabbles for you tomorrow since I missed last week with all the stuff I had going on. Wednesday will mark (I hope) the first edition of WIP Wednesday, the new addition to my weekly blogging lineup, and Thursday I’ll be back again to talk about the last six months and how they’ve stacked up compared to the goals I laid out at the beginning of the year. Friday, I’m thinking of reviving Friday Feelings, and Saturday a new entry in The Ballad of Mercy May will go up.

If you think that’s a lot of blogging, it is. For whatever reason it helps me, and I’m tired of pretending it doesn’t.

Please look forward to it.

Kerry Share

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi


Scribd subscribers can find my romance novellas here. Coming soon on Patreon!

Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; The Moon

Hello friends and welcome to another wacky week of writing.

It’s the third week of Drabble Rock and I still feel really good about this fun little project. It’s keeping me creatively engaged without taxing my limited time. And by splitting the idea into two forks — one a contiguous story, the other unconnected, “random” snapshots — I’m able to scratch multiple itches at once.

I look forward to posting them so much, that I started wondering over the weekend if there was a way I could do Drabble Rock every day. At once I chastised myself. I have actual WIPs I could (and should) be working on, after all. As fun as Drabble Rock may be, it can’t be my main focus.

Trouble is, I have come to realize that part of the thing that is so fun and motivating about Drabble Rock is the public nature of it. That’s by design, because apparently the biggest influence on my daily productivity is the expectation — or even just the illusion of expectation — of others. That’s why I work so well on deadline and have no trouble (okay, maybe not no trouble) completing NaNoWriMo.

Personal goals and deadlines are more or less no good to me. I’m used to disappointing myself (thanks anxiety brain), so falling short of a target word count or failing to make writing daily, even just a little bit, a habit isn’t that surprising or, nay, motivating to me.

So, the idea I’m toying with now is reviving Friday Feelings and perhaps adding a mid-week check in. WIP Wednesday’s. It feels a little egotistical to have a blog post every day of the week, but I’m willing to set that embarrassment if it helps.

Whether it actually helps remains to be seen. Until next time, friends.

Kerry Share

Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0002

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lays is completely, utterly silent.

Still, the command reverberates off the walls of her soul, through the very core of her being.

Run.

But how can she run? She doesn’t even feel capable of standing; every inch of her aches and her head is spinning with acute vertigo. She is vaguely aware she is lying amidst a copse of trees — she can hear the creak of the branches as they sway in the wind, can smell the musk of vegetation all around her.

How did she come to be here? The woman is startled to realize she does not know.


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Drabble Rock

Drabble Rock; Week 2


tune


“How else can I describe it?” Leema murmured, trailing a finger idly over the heavy, marble-beaded bracelet adorning her wrist. “The Lady’s words are akin to music that only I am privileged enough to hear. They are the melody of my soul. The rhythm of my heart. I can scarce imagine my life deaf to her song.”

Ildon watched her as she spoke, his expression carefully guarded. It was suspicious enough to snap Leema from her daydream-like reverie.

“What?” She demanded, embarrassed.

He tried for a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Nothing,” he said. “It sounds wonderful.”

Liar.

Monday Motivations

Monday Motivations; Queen of Wands… Again

Hello friends and welcome to another wonky week of writing.

Last week, despite my anxiety brain spending all its energy trying to convince me it wouldn’t work, I launched my two-pronged short-form fiction project, Drabble Rock. I had a lot of fun with it, but if I’m totally honest, I worried that my enthusiasm for the idea would die off after that first initial burst.

Well, it’s a new week and I’m still excited for it. In fact, I’m itching for Tuesday and already asking myself if once is a week is enough for The Ballad of Mercy May postings. So I am pleased to say that Drabble Rock will be with us for at least another week.

Apart from that, however, I’m feeling a bit like a fraud. I’m really struggling to make headway with Seekers of Empyrean, my urban fantasy novella series. I’m really concerned that the Drabble Rock project has pulled my motivation away, and that I’ve succumbed to Shiny New Syndrome.

Am I real writer if I can’t maintain focus long enough to finish a first draft (much less a second, third, fourth, oh and let’s not forget about querying)?

Am I real writer if I spend more of my time talking about writing than actually writing?

Am I real writer? Or just someone who plays at writing cause it feels cool to say I’m a writer.

My motivation this week is finding out. Wish me luck.

Kerry Share

Drabble Rock

The Ballad of Mercy May; 0001

Chapter One


She came to the Pale City alone and penniless,
Bereft of memory, name, and purpose.
She could not know,
As her bloodied feet carried her forward,
That she would leave again just two days hence,
Having permanently altered the course of history.

The Ballad of Mercy May
Third Canto, Second Stanza


Run.

It is the first word the woman hears. Though, how she hears it is yet a mystery. She’s not even sure she is truly awake.

A gentle breeze is rustling the leaves of the trees overhead. In the distance, an eagle cries. Otherwise, the grove in which she


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Thursday Words

Winning the Break-Up

Hello friends and welcome to another self-referential edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

First of all, let me thank everyone who participated in, or even just sent me some kind words about, Drabble Rock on Tuesday. I was kind of nervous about creating what I hope will eventually become a community event, but even if it never comes to that, I am grateful to everyone who encouraged me nonetheless. I hope the second part of the Drabble Rock metaverse, The Ballad of Mercy May, which officially launches tomorrow, is just as well received. Please look forward to it.


Last week, my favorite writing related podcast, Print Run put out an episode about pettiness. The hosts, Laura and Erik, talked specifically about how pettiness and professional jealousies can often times be put to work motivating oneself to work harder, make it better, do it faster… wait, no. That’s Daft Punk.

Anyway, it got me thinking about my own pettiness. I, like most (if not all) others, am chock full of it, but perhaps abnormally it is not directed at anyone but myself. Specifically, my past self. Even more specifically, the past self that failed to live up to my own — lofty, lowly, or otherwise — expectations.

I realized listening to Laura and Erik that I treat my past self like an ex-lover and her failures like a break up I desperately want to win.

Ever since I announced Drabble Rock last week, I have been fretting about what has at times seemed like it’s inevitable downfall. After all, I have attempted myriad weekly creative endeavors, most of them right here on this blog, only for them to die in obscurity just a few weeks later. As I am constantly lamenting how busy I am with work, children, housekeeping, and freelancing in addition to writing, it seems like adding not just one but two new projects to the pot is a recipe for bitter disappointment.

Often times past disappointment has fomented an expectation of present inadequacies. That, in turn, depresses my ability and desire to pursue my creative endeavors. The idea then fails because of course it does, and inevitably the cycle begins anew.

Not this time.

Today, I am looking at the failure of my Short But Sweet vignettes, the shelving of my Border Towns draft, the excuses I’ve made for not pushing myself to commit wholly to writing and telling myself: I am better than that.

If my ex told me that I couldn’t write for shit, and that I should just give up because I’ve always been a let down and always will, I would work like hell every damn day to prove that asshole wrong. I would write and write and write; I would refine my craft, and start a second then a third draft. I wouldn’t stop, just because they thought I should.

So, why should I lay down and accept it when those thoughts are inside my own head?

Today, I am breaking up with giving up. I am dumping disappointment. I am walking out on not writing. I’m fed up with failure, so I’m leaving lethargy behind and embracing a new and more fabulous me. One that writes even when I don’t have to and finishes projects even when they aren’t on deadline. One that starts creative endeavors just because they’re fun and makes time for them because I made a commitment to myself.

So long to the ex-partner from hell of more than a decade: doubt, self-deprecation, and weary resignation.

Hello dreams realized.


That’s all from me on this bright and shiny Thursday. I’ll be back tomorrow for the first installment of the second half of Drabble Rock: The Ballad of Mercy May. I hope you’ll all check out the first hundred words of the epic fantasy I once considered my opus.

Until then, friends, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

Twitter | Instagram | Ko-Fi