Perhaps that’s the exact feeling I’m waiting for?

We’ve now reached the cover process for my novel and I’ve been finding that this stage has my thoughts going in ever direction, which is why I’ve been making notes and taking my time to really work through what it is I want. Not to my surprise, sitting around staring at images all day doesn’t seem to help me make a decision faster. I contemplate each element of the piece, and try to make a list of questions I have. I’m starting to realize that I don’t just want it to be right, I want it to be perfect. I want whatever I choose to feel like it belongs on my book. I want this cover to be something I’d pull off the shelf myself, something that peaks my interest and makes me want to take it home. I want to be confident when I make that final decision, that this is exactly what I want. I don’t want to be in that state of contemplation, of indecision, of unease…so I’m going over the images again and again, debating on if it really does feel right.

I wonder if this is what it’s like when you’re choosing a wedding dress? Was I this obsessed with picking the perfect prom dress years ago? I had a certain criteria sure, but I think at a certain point I put one on and it was the perfect fit and perhaps that’s the exact feeling I’m waiting for? I’m waiting for that perfect fit.

Still, at this moment in time I’m not sure what I want to do, which frustrates me because I like to give prompt responses. I don’t like to leave anyone hanging. I guess this blog post is also me figuring things out.

I hope I get to the point where I do. Where I can picture holding that book in my hand and go “This is the one.” Until then, I’ll be staring off into space, eating banana bread and enjoying a cup of tea.

Quick Novel Update!

Today I got to see the mood board that’s being sent off to the cover design team and oh my goodness…I absolutely adore it. I’ve looked at it over and over again. It has the exact feel that I want and there are so many amazing books on it as well!

I’ll share the mood board itself at a later date just because it’s really special to me at the moment…and I kind of want to keep it to myself just a little longer (I hope that’s okay?).

This is so cool. Like I keep asking myself if this is real.

While that’s all being done, I’m jumping back into editing and working on the draft for the sequel. I’ve been trying to take everything I’ve learned from this first book an trying to apply it here. I hope that my efforts pay off.

I know that there’s still so much to do and there is definitely a lot more for me to learn, but I’m going to keep having fun and I cannot wait to for my next set of instructions and to see what the team puts together!

We’re Getting Closer!

I really enjoyed the editing process so I’m looking forward to the next step in my publishing journey. I’ve got lots to do so I created a schedule for myself to keep track of everything. My deadline is fast approaching, so I’ve actually been writing this blog post in between during my breaks.

I’ve been meaning to post a novel update video on YouTube, discussing this portion of my journey, but I film on my phone and it hasn’t been working properly. I’ve got a few little clips that I backed up immediately onto my laptop just in case my phone decides to be a butt again…which is like a few times a week unfortunately. I also noticed the other day that I reached 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel, which honestly surprised me because last time I checked I thought I had only 30 people subscribed to my content. I really don’t understand how the algorithm works. One of my oldest friends from elementary school actually found my channel the other day but I have no clue how to message people on YouTube. I haven’t seen her since high school! It was funny because I had been talking to one of my buddies about her the other day. I’m hoping she reads this so I can be like “Hi!!!”

The feedback that I’ve received on my manuscript has been incredibly helpful. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned. I’ve even made little notes so that I can go back and reference some of the comments and advice I’ve been given and apply it to my other work. My notebooks only got a few pages left in it now, but thankfully I have two cute ones that I’ve been saving for an occasion such as this one.

I’ve been trying to catch up on my reading during the lock down, but I suppose I’ve had to put that on hold because of all this publishing stuff. I’ve thankfully plowed through the majority of the owned books in my TBR, and ordered two more from a series I’ve been reading. One of my co-workers also gave me some excellent recommendations, so I’ll be checking those out once I’ve got a little more free time. I own one of the books from her list so I plan on starting with that one!

I wonder if anyone at work knows I have a blog?

Hi everyone! How’s life? I miss you all!

If you follow me on instragram, you’ll know that I just started playing Animal Crossing. I’ve wanted to play for a while now and have had the game for at least a month, but I didn’t have time to start the game because I was either recording or editing…or babysitting. Then when I finally had the time to play, I got busy again! My sister’s been playing on my behalf. I finally got a house in the game.

I’d better get back to work. I’ve got some things I need to wrap up.

Answering Questions 1-4: Writer’s Edition

I thought it would be fun to start off NANOWRIMO with this fun post I saw circulating on Twitter. So far the post has 4 likes, so I’ll be answering the first 4 questions. Each like equals one answer! I don’t think I’ve done one of these since back in the old days when my friends and I used to send chain mail to each other.

So, let’s get to it!

Question #1: What Genre do you write in?

Genre is one of my favourite things to explore as a writer. Over the years I’ve played around with sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, adventure, children’s literature, horror…etc. Most of my work tends to blend genres. I write things that I would enjoy as a reader and if others enjoy them too then that’s fantastic.

What genres I like to read changes often. Currently I’m reading a modern Gothic lit’, a shojo romance series, poetry and contemporary lit which would probably fall under a general fiction category. I also like to write historical fiction…but with a twist.

Question #2: How many projects have you started?

I don’t even know how to answer this question. A lot. The follow up question scares me more. I’d say recently I’ve started around 10 projects. By starting I mean I’ve got the synopsis and characters laid out and a couple introductory chapters done. These are projects I’ve been working on between 2013 and 2020. My debut novel is included among this list.

Aside from that there are the many…many pre-2013 projects. One is a 7 book series that’s been put on hiatus if any of my friends ask. It needs a lot of work. The others dwindled off after about 3 to 5 chapters. I usually know if I’m connecting to a story by then. Doesn’t mean I’ll never return to the story or characters but at the time my skill level as a writer and my knowledge as…well a person…just wasn’t at the right point.

Question #3: How many projects have you completed?

Completed projects…ehhhhhhh. Haha. Okay so for my debut series I’ve completed 1 and a half of the first two books. Book 1 is being prepped for publication so the editing of the first draft of its sequel is currently on hold.

As for those other 10 projects they’re either 50% complete or still in the early planning stages. I basically schedule out which projects receive my attention. Last NANOWRIMO I finished the draft for book 2 for example. I began rewriting and arranging it at the start of 2020 but have now prioritized getting the first book ready for publication.

During my off periods…and by that I mean when I’m working on projects that haven’t been given a deadline…I spend time researching, writing and building my other works. It saves me time down the road and allows me to get to know my characters.

Question #4: Planner, Pantser or Plantser?

I am a…Plantser. It honestly depends on my mood. I could spend hours researching, organizing my notes, getting every last detail in…or other times I sit down and write out whatever comes to me. The majority of the time I might write out a single chapter without any planning whatsoever and then begin my planning stages. I try to give my characters names as I’m writing that introductory chapter. I find that once they have a name, they’re more alive.

It started snowing today…well technically it started hailing and then it snowed. I’m glad I got my winter clothes out early. I may need to invest in some more sweaters for work though.

Come up with a tagline for your book (if you don’t already have one).

Haha, I’ve already created a tagline but I thought it would be fun to discuss how difficult it was when I first tried. It might seem silly but there is a lot that goes into the completion of a book. You spend all this time writing, drafting, creating characters, setting etc…and then you move into editing. Even beyond that there’s more to do. Synopsis’ for querying, author biographies and taglines.

When my book was accepted for publication I was thrilled! I’ve learned so much on my journey. I’ve learned my strengths and weaknesses as a writer, learned about being comfortable sharing my work with those outside of my immediate group and have grown to truly understand how much work I’ve put into not only this novel but into learning my craft.


I have learned to appreciate everything I read, every edit I make, the feedback I’m given, the amount of thought that goes into every decision being made. I’m truly grateful for it all. I’m learning and will continue to learn as I go…and to me that is absolutely incredible.

The tagline for this series is “some secrets are best left buried.” I think it fits but this may change closer to publication.

Tomorrow is my character Nicholas’ birthday! It’s also Halloween but he doesn’t care about that he just wants cake.

Nicholas is 14 in the first book but because it took me 7 years to work on he’d technically be 21 now. Ha! I can’t picture it. He’s such a hyper little bean. I call all my character’s beans…I feel like I adopted this from a friend I had in high school although I can’t remember who used to say that all the time?

Roland and Peter would be 31. Damn. I’d better hurry up with this edit so I can go back to editing the sequel!

Last year I spent NANOWRIMO writing book 2 in the series. This year I’ll be completing an 9-12 audiobook written by Jamaal Fridge, which I am very excited about! I’ve had so much fun recording it and I’m honoured that he reached out and asked me to voice his characters! I’ll definitely be sharing the link to that in the near future. Other than that I’ll be editing, working, baking and wrapping gifts.

I wonder what should give Nicholas for his birthday? If he did celebrate Halloween and attended a costume party, I think he’d go as a pirate. Captain Hook or Black Beard maybe?

What would your character dress up as?

What are your top 5 quotes from your book?

#1: “This smells very sweet but it looks like dirt.” He looked at Rose. “Are you sure it’s okay to eat?”

#2: …no matter how he felt about her, she always managed to find a way to seep back into his thoughts. Always.

#3: “Human teeth aren’t sharp,” he remembered Micah telling him. “They’re dull like an unsharpened blade. Can’t cut anything.”

#4: “What is wrong with an educational read?” Roland snapped.

“They turn your brain to mush.” Rose teased. “That’s why my teacher is so boring and dull.”

#5: “It’s pretty hard to kill a man if you know his name.”

These are my top 5. At least for now! I have other’s that I really like but I don’t want to use anything that might be considered a spoiler. Rose’s comment about the books makes me laugh every time. That’s from the first chapter. She’s the type of person who would rather read than do homework.

My Favourite Moment in My Novel

Today’s task is to “Describe one of your favourite moments in the book.”

One of my favourite scenes is when my character’s go sledding together. It’s this one moment when everyone lets their guard down and genuinely enjoy each others company. It’s a nice contrast to some of the stuff that happens later on in the novel.

It’s also nice to see my older character’s being just as playful as the younger ones. Especially when they’ve been so stressed out with work (and constantly getting on each other’s nerves).

I also love that one of my favourite side character’s Connie shows up in this scene. She only makes one appearance in this book but her and her friends are really fun to write. I should draw them sometime.

I think I’ll keep this answer short because I don’t want to spoil anything! However, when the book comes out I’d love to know what your favourite scene was. Hopefully you’ll like this scene as well.

Novel & Editing Update

Howdy Peeps!

I’ve been working away at my last few edits before I go into my full read through of my manuscript. It’s been so much fun. I can’t wait to share this book with you all.

I’ve also been reminding myself to record these last few edits. I nearly forgot! I really want to document this portion of the process because well…this is my novel debut! It’s exciting and honestly it still feels like a dream. I’ve written so many stories over the years it’s incredible that one of them is going to be published. My characters won’t just be mine to laugh and cry with anymore. It’s crazy the more I think about it.

I’ve adored stories my entire life…they have this ability to connect you to people fictional or not through so many mediums. There are so many wondrous places to travel, things to experience…and stories provide all of that adventure. I hope the stories I tell whether it be someone elses through my career as an actress or ones that I tell myself as an author bring some warmth, fun and adventure into someones life.

Stay safe,

Ardin.