Lions and lambs and cats with inflated self images – oh my!

This is how my cat sees himself in his head. I’m sure of it.

This Month in Writing

Angelborn hit the copyeditor’s desk and should be ready for an April release. Those on my mailing list got to see the early cover reveal! Want to read it for free when it comes out? Join the list today!

Earthsinger Book 2 goes to the editor in April—I’m sure she will tear it apart so I can put it back together all shiny and coherent and such. I received some excellent feedback on what may or may not be the opening chapter at the Hurston Wright workshop.

Also, Ines Johnson and I are posting a semi-secret draft of a paranormal romance on Wattpad. Shhh!

This Month in Reading

Ever since I read Grace Draven’s Master of Crows in a fantasy romance box set last year, Draven has steadily risen up my favorite authors list. I finally sat down to read her newest novel, Radiance, after seeing hype about it all over the place. I generally discount hype, some of the worst books are hyped to death, but I’ve experienced Draven’s prowess and I wasn’t disappointed this time. Radiance ticks all the boxes for both fantasy and romance. Definitely recommended!

This Month in Watching

gal-diffrent-strokes-jpgI’ve been feeling nostalgic and discovered that all eight season of Diff’rent Strokes are on Comcast’s On Demand. I had no idea there were eight seasons! But now I feel compelled to watch them all and reminisce about my childhood as a young black boy from Harlem adopted by a kindly Park Avenue tycoon and his possibly drug-addled maid. That was my childhood right? They solved racism in each and every episode! How could we forget these important lessons?

Also, I started watching Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt on Netflix. Hilarity ensued.

This Month in Fur

Sterlyng freaked the hell out. Seriously. I’ve never heard him make these sounds before.

And Sabyl continued her artistic endeavors by rearranging the furniture so it was more to her liking.

Sabyl is an interior decorator now. Too bad she’s terrible at it.

A photo posted by Leslye (@lpenel) on

A Journey of 30,000 Words Begins with a Single Click

Cat on TypewriterI began writing a new story today, the first in a planned series of short contemporary romances with paranormal elements. Well, this one may end up being the third in the series, but I’m writing it first since it spoke to me that way. It’s always exciting to be starting something new, and after spending several months on the last story, I’m taking a break this month with something new while the last one is out with beta readers.

I love new beginnings, crisp sheets of paper, unused notebooks, a fresh pack of pens (Uniball Jetstream 1.0mm in case you’re wondering… my birthday is only a month away). The start of a new story, however, is also fraught with danger. When you’re revising something that you believe is at least half-way decent, the nagging self-doubts tend to creep up less often. I mean, all through the latest revision I was still worried that I’d wasted the past few months writing an epic feat of craptasticness that would never see the light of day — convinced no agent or editor would touch it and self-publishing it would be moronic. But then I would read a few chapters and fall in love with it all over again. If you believe you should write to make yourself happy, then I’d at least reached that goal.

But as I took a break from the world of that story and began plotting something entirely new, the possibilities were once again endless. Unsullied by my poor word choices, overlong sentences and persistent use of adverbs. There is something hypnotic and enticing about a blank page — or in this case, the tiny blank LCD screen of my Alphasmart.

It’s like walking into a theater during the previews, or popping in a Bluray and pressing play — or, if you will, like Schroedinger’s cat. Before we begin, it’s both a bestseller and campfire fodder. We don’t know what we’re in for until we’re in it. And that poor cat is always alive for me unless proven otherwise. Until you watch it, read it or write it (paint it, draw it or film it, etc.) there are no boundaries. It’s a quantum of creativity with infinite potential to suck or be amazing.

Maybe I’ll toss it aside after finishing it, or maybe I’ll read it in a few months, when it’s done, and fall in love with it for the hundredth time. The anticipation of the beginning of the journey is the addictive part, not just to see if someone will one day buy this and read it and give me a five star review — but just to see what comes out of my brain onto the page. Today, I took the first step.

What about you? Have you started anything new recently?

top image © Benjamin Gelman |