Features, This and That

I Have a Dream

Have you ever had a dream? One that filled you with such joy that the very thought of fulfilling it consumed your every waking thought?

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Every dream doesn’t just happen, sadly. I wish there was a magic wand that granted every thing I wanted and “poof” instant success. However, my fairy godmother is either taking her sweet time, stuck in traffic, or there truly are no mystical wish granting-midnight striking-ballgown granting-prince giving-fairy godmothers. Sigh.

My dream of becoming a published author began over 20 years ago. Shocking, I know. I must have been a toddler when this dream began, right? Okay, maybe just slightly older. Anyway, I had dreams and I dreamed big. A little over 20 years ago I was young, er-younger, working the best job in the world (in a bookstore) and still at a time in my life where I had little to no responsibilities. Not only was I beginning my journey of how to become a writer, but I was also engrossing myself in the authors who were already paving the path of what I wanted to write. You see while working at the bookstore I had my pulse on what has happening in the romance literary world. Reading everything I could get my hands on, I had instant access to magazines such as RWA, which I always read on my breaks, I was able to buy books at a deep discount, which I took great advantage of, and I stocked my home bookshelves with guides on how to research, write, and publish my finished manuscripts. It was pure heaven.

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Yes, I still own everything I ever bought all those years ago. This is just a small sample of my vast dreaming library. I wonder if any of those publishing addresses still work? I also wonder if anyone actually get’s “Happily” published? Hmmmm.

Anyway, it wasn’t long into my young and foolish youth that responsibilities came home to live and dreams had to be shelved. No longer was I able to spend all my earnings on books or spend all my free time on dreaming. A home, a job, and a family took precedence over living a fictional life.

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For the past 20 years my dream would peak out and remind me that it was unfinished. All the books that I had packed away when responsibility took precedence would resurface and the itch would instantly return. I would try to write during quiet times, which were sometimes few and far between. I would research late at night when my kids were sleeping and before I had to sleep and go to work the next day. Somehow, my dream refused to die.

go-live-your-dreamHowever, with each manuscript time passed and with each story idea more time passed until eventually fear settled in to the point that I haven’t picked up those helpful books I purchased 20 years ago in a very long time.

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I’ve focused on raising a family, my job, and so many other things that all the dreams I had so long ago I now face with fear. I dreamed big for so long and even though I’m finally at a point in my life where I have time to focus energy on those dreams I’m completely full of fear. What if I completely fail and everything I ever wanted to achieve never happens? What if I completely suck and then what?

I know that fear is the killer of dreams more than jumping in with both feet and just trying.

It hasn’t been until the past couple years that I even created a writing space and completely unpacked all of those old and outdated resources knowing I’d be forced to face my dreams every time I sat in that space. I find I’m very good at avoiding this spot when I want. Dreams are scary.

Now you should ask, why did I write this and why are there so many Disney or more appropriately Rapunzel themed pictures?

I have a very good answer.

Walt Disney was a man who didn’t let anyone stand in the way of his dreams. He is the ultimate dreamer and Rapunzel was a girl locked away in a tower who was full of dreams, it was all she had until Eugene came and rescued her. She also rescued him from his thieving ways and pretty much from running from his past. I love how Disney portray’s women in their films. The damsel is never a true damsel in distress, it gives young girls so much to look up to besides just looking beautiful awaiting their prince in a tower.

Anyway, Rapunzel had a dream that consumed her every waking thought and she didn’t let anything stand in her way of fulfilling it. No matter what obstacle came in her way she was bound and determined to see it to completion.  Thank you Rapunzel and Disney for reminding me that I can do this. I can’t let fear rule my life.

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This is also important, especially considering just a few years have passed and I’m no longer 20 years old.

Keep Reading. Keep Writing. Keep Dreaming.

This and That

Expanding Opportunities 

Here I write, there I write, everywhere looks good when the opportunity looks right.

Dr. Seuss never fails to get the message correct when you need to say what’s on your mind.

Well, most of the time.

A couple weeks ago a blogging site contacted me about writing and contributing to their site. As I’ve done with most things in my life, I researched, rehashed, debated all the pros and cons, all while my mind was reeling with the possibilities of what I could contribute to the world. Then I made a logical decision, jumped right in and said, “yes”.

Don’t worry you will still find me here, because romance is my first true love, but you can also find me posting on MyTrendingStories.com

https://mytrendingstories.com/profile/kay-daniels/

Be sure to follow me on this exciting me journey as this platform will allow me to expand on ideas beyond just romance.

I hope to see you there.

As always good writing, good reading, and good fortune.

This and That

Perspective

Everyone, no matter where you are in your life, can understand the word perspective. I’m not talking about the definable word, which is clinical and horribly boring. No, I’m talking about a moment in your life where you are either at the bottom trying to work your way up so your perspective could be one of struggling. Or perhaps you are at the top and now your perspective is one of victory.

Do you see where I’m going with this? The road of perception is different for everyone.

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As a writer, in developing characters, you want well rounded character development. Point of view (POV), the voice you give your characters, is one part of how you flush out your characters flaws, quirks, and overall oompf that makes us fall in love with them. That is just part of how the character perceives himself. Is your main character experiencing everything first hand in telling the story, using I, me or my? Will your characters merely observe their own actions as the story unfolds using he, she, his, hers? What will their perception be as their story is written? Your readers learn as your characters learn so perception becomes important when choosing a voice.

You’d think outside traits are high on the list because who is going to star in the movie version of your book, right? Wrong, or partially wrong. This is fiction, so of course make your fictional characters colorful, then cover artists will craft something stunning. So don’t lose sleep picking eye color, hair color, and other outside package features. Yes, you want to help fill your readers with visuals that correspond with your character traits and coordinate with the world you have created.  Readers will fill in voids from their own experiences and the visual cues you’ve already given them.

Next on your list of character development, you need to fill your characters with morals, values, basically everything that makes them who they are. Whether the character you are developing is the hero or the antagonist they have the same common thread. They both have their reasons for how they act, how they live, what they believe and trust me on this, whether they are hero or villain, they both perceive themselves as doing the right thing for their cause.

WHAT? A villain is right? What is wrong with the world?
  
A look back in history proves that a villain believes they are right until their dying breath. They are even more “right” in their convictions than the hero is in their vindication of defeating the antagonist. How else would they gain followers unless they believe in their cause undoubtedly.  The hero more times than not fights the fight alone. The question you want to ask yourself is, what lead them down this dark path to begin with? Why is this cause so important to them? You may or may not use the answer to these questions in your story, but it will help create and shape your characters. Making them richer and more evolved for your readers. Don’t forget when crafting your villain everything is based on perspective.

Let’s stop and think about this for just a second.

To a mouse, a cat is an evil terror. To a cat, a mouse is a delightful treat. Who is right in this scenario? Both and neither. It’s all based on perspective.

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As a storyteller you get to decide. Which side do you want to take, who is the villain and what voice do you want to use? Whatever side you pick stick to your guns until the bitter end. Don’t waffle. Don’t make the cat a vegetarian right at the end. The cat wants that mouse and will do everything in its power to entrap, ensnare, and eat that mouse.

Now if you can come up with a great twist that isn’t cliché you have a major blockbuster on your hands. You will get the opportunity to use your sparkly shoes. The struggling writer finally victorious.

So don’t forget life is all about perspective. No matter who you come across, who you write about, or who you strike up a conversation with everyone takes away a different perspective. In every scenario you may be the mouse or you may be the cat.

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Until next time, keep reading, keep writing, and good fortune.

-Kay Daniels

This and That

The Journey

What is more exciting when you have a preset destination in mind; the journey in getting to said destination or arriving at the actual destination itself?

Hmmmm

Tough call isn’t?

I bet if you took a random poll you’d get many different responses and a multitude of reasons why they answered what they did.

What I want to talk about is the journey in getting to said destination. I think I just heard half of you groan. Yes, I’m sure many of you are remembering tortuous family car trips as a child. I hope this doesn’t bring about any PTSD so I’ll jump right in and get to it.

When I began writing I could only see the finish line, or more appropriately the final destination. Write a Pulitzer prize winning novel, get published, become famous, and get invited to the Oprah show (yes, I daydreamed a lot about being on Oprah) and life would be a-ma-zing. End of journey.

I sort of missed the entire journey part and what it took to reach the destination. No one mentioned the cracks in the pavement, potholes in the road, detours, tollbooths, needed passports, maps, GPS’s, did I forget to mention that this journey would be long and sometimes unpleasant and perhaps a bit stinky? I should probably leave my sparkly shoes for Oprah in their box since this journey required comfy, ugly shoes.

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Crap. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 and do not put on your sparkly shoes.

What I forgot about myself, first and foremost is, I’ve always been a writer, or at least highly creative. I may not have known to put all of my “stories” to pen and paper, but I have lived in a fantasy world for as long as I can remember. I heard the word Author and instantly I not only revered it, but also feared it.

This all mighty word is my destination. It is my dream. Dreams are awesome! Dreams can also shatter and turn into nightmares.

Could chasing the golden goose turn on me and turn my goose into bronze? How would I suddenly turn off a life filled with creativity if all my fears were confirmed? Wouldn’t living with my doubts be better than living with rejection? Suddenly I wasn’t so sure about this journey. Wasn’t there an option, like in the game of Life, for the short route to instant success? Where was the easy button?

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I looked down the long road to where I wanted to go and my destination suddenly seemed so far away. With each passing day it became apparent that I knew nothing about filling in potholes or taking backroads to avoid tollbooths. My dream of ever wearing my sparkly shoes on Oprah was diminishing. I was diminishing.

For a long time I took the safe route avoiding every construction zone possible. My sensible shoes were supporting my feet. I was respectful. Dotting every i, crossing every t, and I hadn’t been pushed out into traffic once. I also hadn’t been inspired for longer than I can ever remember.

I recently took out my destination map and looked at that big, scary word again. Author. For reasons I’m still coming to grips with, I kicked my own ass into oncoming traffic. Immobilized by fear, self-doubt, insecurities, lack of self-worth, the list goes on and on, I stood there looking back at where I’d been and then ahead of where I needed to go.

Where I’d been standing seemed safe, but ultimately it was a place of constructed roadblocks that I’d set up for myself. A false sense of security to make me believe my quirks and short comings would be better off living within the box I’d put them in. I wasn’t living a safe life, I was starving my creative side. A side I’d always treasured about myself, but for some reason was allowing to die.

When I turned and looked out at the new road ahead of me, sure it seemed scary, well, I won’t lie, it was scary. I knew I would face rejection. I also knew I would face criticism. In this industry it would be strange not to. But, I wasn’t going to let my own insecurities keep me from enjoying the journey. Not this time. I was going to focus on just being a writer. Sure, earning the title of published author would be rich buttercream frosting on a slice of decadent cake, but for now I will focus on enjoying this journey to the fullest.

Until next time, keep reading, keep writing, and good fortune.

-Kay Daniels

This and That

RT Conference 2013, the Oscars of Romance

Headed to RT (Romantic Times) Conference in Kansas City for a week of workshops, author panels, book fairs, cover models galore, parties and more networking opportunities than you could ever hope to achieve in one setting. It is overwhelming, exciting, and exhausting all wrapped up in one glorious week what some romance authors would almost consider the “Oscars” of romance conferences.

RT brings together both published authors and aspiring writers to experience the same workshops in an environment where they are learning together and from one another. For don’t we all learn best from those who forged the path before us. It also brings in a facet of a mentor/mentee relationship that begins to form when you meet that published author, that takes pity on you, and takes you under their wing and helps guide you on your own journey towards success.

The other great aspect to RT is it is filled with fans. People who, spend a lot to, come to this particular convention every year just to see their favorite author, get the scoop on what is coming next, get a ton of stuff signed by their stalked authors, and leave with your own body weight in swag and technically books (they did pay for the convention after all). I am amazed at the amount of fans who attend for this very reason. Standing in line last year I would listen to fans argue about why or why not a particular author should or should not kill off a character, then some talked about characters like they were family members and would show up at their home for supper, or perhaps hoped would be a better term. I loved being surrounded by the chatter of people who just enjoyed the love of reading and were not afraid to voice their opinions out in the open.

Getting to meet my idol – Lorelei James (GAH!)

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Now, besides seeing your idols walking around and seeing that, yes, they are a real person, when you actually take the time to you drag your eyes away from stalking your favorite authors, you will see, and try not to drool all over, the delicious eye candy that walks around the conference. Men, men, it’s raining men. They pop up everywhere and women will stand in line to get a photograph with them (not that I’m naming names or anything, ahem) especially when they arrive shirtless (oh my, my loins are all aquiver). Starting to see why fans pay big bucks to come to this 🙂

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So, as I’ve waited an entire year to go back to “the mother land” and be amongst my people, I look forward to the experience with trepidation and excitement.

About Kay Daniels Romance

About Kay Daniels Romance

Born & raised in a small town, I graduated with a degree in education and a minor in language arts from a State University. I’ve worked in various jobs starting in retail where the customer is always right. Then I moved into child care where the children were taught how to behave right. Next, I worked in human resources where the employees were mostly right. So what is my next big step? Creating worlds where the characters aren’t always perfect, but through love I could make my own kind of right.

I currently live in Illinois with my high school sweetheart in the middle of nowhere. Between my two children and diva cat I stay busy reading, blogging and creating new characters. Never let anyone tell you that country life is boring.

What do I do in my down time? Reading, writing, and blogging about one or the other. Find me on me social media listed below to see what I’m reading or writing about about. 

Check out Kay Daniels on Social Media!

 

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