Thursday, September 3, 2015

Authentic Alignment

The definition of a rift is "a crack, split, or break in something", or "a serious break in friendly relations". The implication here is that wholeness must first exist for a rift to occur.

I have become a rift.

In the last six months, some part of me deviated from the rest, hijacking my life, and the gap inside grew wider and wider until no part of me could function anymore.

Our brains like to classify things, to divvy them up with neat little labels that define each part in a tidy sum of words. But separate from one another, our parts are as good as dead. I'm not a brain or a heart or a liver. I AM that which lies beyond the sum of my parts. That mysterious circle of me is the property we call spirit. It is the whole self--beyond ego, beyond mind, beyond personality. And it houses what I like to call the "authentic self".

The authentic self has a list of Core Needs, and every one of them is as essential to our "thrival" (more than mere survival, our ability to thrive) as air and water. When we try to shut one or more of these needs down, the result is interior chaos and exterior dysfunction, a rift in the self, a schism of the spirit, a tear in the very fabric of who we are.

So what do you do once you've found yourself a house divided? How do you heal to move on?

You must shift into a space of authentic alignment, reconnecting with each and every piece of yourself, and taking inventory of all of your Core Needs. Like a chiropractor for the soul, aligning with your authentic self restores balance to your whole being. Energy flows, life is renewed, and the journey becomes effortless.

Here is what the last six months have taught me: I journey as a whole, one grand and glorious being, or my journey ceases.

Opposite of the brain, the heart brings things together, unifies, incorporates, harmonizes. The road to authentic alignment lies through the heart. Through the powerful alchemy of love, through self acceptance, compassion, and nurturing our whole being, we find the strength to pull ourselves together again. The heart holds dominion where the rational mind has no power. And when logic and reason fail to put the pieces back in order, as they inevitably will, love finds a way.

You can read more about my journey to wholeness here.

Monday, July 6, 2015

On Being Acquired ... Again

I intended to write this post shortly after the announcement went live that my YA speculative novel, SONGBYRD, had been acquired by Jolly Fish Press. That was a month ago now. You can see how easily I fall behind. The struggle is REAL, y'all.

However, the upside is that I've been spending my spare time on revising said novel in order to bring my readers the very best work I can. For those of you who've read OTHERBORN and/or ASTRAL TIDE, this novel will be somewhat of a departure from the Anna Silver you're used to. SONGBYRD has a contemporary setting and characters, but it boasts the kind of fantastical twists and turns that are turning out to be my calling card. I really can't wait for you to get to read it!

Already brainstorming cover art concepts, I've been struggling to settle on one image or one concept to represent this novel full of complex characters and circumstances. And I guess some of that may be because I'm still revising, and the work is shifting under my fingers, taking on a new, final form that still has yet to fully reveal itself. It's exciting to watch this final version of SONGBYRD emerge, but also a little frightening. I never know exactly where a novel is going to take me, or how the characters may surprise me along the way. And I know it sounds crazy, but I often feel, once I reach a certain point, that I have very little control. Yet I know editors, critics, readers--everyone will hold me responsible for the words and actions of my characters. As I grow as a writer, I bump into this quandary more and more. I have a desperate, almost feral, need for the work to be free. To feel uninhibited in my writing. And at the same time, I feel a growing sense of responsibility for what I put out there. This is my voice. This is my opportunity to make a difference. Especially because I'm writing YA. I might be molding young minds *shivers uncontrollably*.

I feel a growing empathy for other authors who have been targeted and criticized for work that falls short of the high ethical ideals we think everyone should be writing about, or who have been treated as condoning the behavior of a character of theirs simply because they wrote it. (I'm not naming names. NOTICE, I DID NOT NAME ANY NAMES.) And I empathize with the critics as well. They're not wrong to point out some of the things that they do. I don't think there's a hard and fast line in the sand for us to follow. I think the waters we authors are swimming in are so murky we're lucky to venture back out alive and in tact ... mostly.

I know for myself, I write characters who intrigue me. And the characters who intrigue me most are troubled. They're complex, neither good nor bad. They muddle with all sorts of conflicted emotions like self loathing. They often make terrible choices. I know, I watch them do it in my head. It's like watching an old horror movie. You tell the cheerleader in her pajamas at summer camp not to go into the boathouse alone at night. You shout and scream and throw popcorn at the T.V. screen. But you know this character. And she is determined to meet up with that hot counselor from Cabin B, even if it means she has to bleed out after being carved up by the machete killer who's been stalking the camp grounds. There really is no stopping her. SHE WANTS TO DIE.

Anyway, this was not the particular rabbit hole I planned for this blog to go down, but here we both are. I hope when SONGBYRD comes out that it challenges you in unexpected ways. And I hope when that happens that you don't overthink it. I hope it's fun, and juicy, and keeps you up at night. Please don't emulate my characters. Love them, hate them, read them. But never, ever emulate them. Learn from them. From their mistakes. Let them raise questions they can't answer. Nor can you. And when that happens, don't come to me. I usually can't answer them either.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New (Old) Work on Wattpad!

Hey folks!

So I've finally posted my novel, Divine Intervention, in its entirety on Wattpad for your reading pleasure. Keep in mind, this was the second novel I ever wrote, but it was also the first to get some serious agent/editor attention. And while it never placed, I was proud of it just the same.

I billed DI as suburban fantasy--the love child of Percy Jackson and chick-lit with a Mesopotamian twist for YA readers. What a mouthful! But that pretty much sums it up. Hinging on my love for ancient mythology of all kinds, I wrote this to be a savvy, funny, and at times bawdy take on the gods and goddesses of old, a sort of diary of a teen demigoddess. I was informed by an agent later that this is called paranormal lite, and its frowned upon in YA. But it was a joy to write and I'm happy to be sharing it with the rest of the world finally. Intended to be the first in a series (aren't all YA?), the ending may leave you wanting more. And in truth, you may have to go hungry. I'd love to write a sequel, but realistically, I have more pressing work and very limited time. I have put it out there that if I reach 10,000 reads on Wattpad, I'll write and post a free sequel. That said, I am woefully short of my mark, so don't get your hopes up.

In any case, I hope you take some time to give it a skim and who knows ... maybe you'll get sucked into Sadi's world of covert lords and bitchy goddesses all rolled into the typical, and not-so-typical, drama of high school. Enjoy! (Click the cover image to link to it on Wattpad!)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Where's My YA?

Recently, I visited a bookstore.

This used to be something I did all the time. But as I stated in a previous post, I've been on ... sabbatical? Hiatus? Take your pick of nice, colorful words. I was still reading, but not as much, and definitely not as much fiction. I had some healing to do. My focus was on getting my head back on straight and catching all that life was punting at me.

Back to the bookstore. Having finally decided it was time to get my arse in the saddle again, I headed to my nearest retail literature outlet to stock up on some juicy pages. I made a bee line for the YA aisle(s), as that has always been my favored cup of proverbial tea. And then I proceeded to wander restlessly up and down, picking up novels, slamming them back on the shelves, nodding my head, and muttering under my breath. Several teens fled for fear of the "mentally unstable lady talking to herself".

What happened to YA while I was gone?

Where were the angst ridden tomes of my past?

What's all this crap written in verse? Why are the paranormal creatures so woefully underrepresented? Where's the fantasy? The imagination? The sweeping landscapes and over-the-top romances this genre is known for?

Now, hear me out. I'm sure there's a lot of wonderful work on those shelves. I'm not criticizing the work of other authors. But I definitely felt like a major shift had happened, and the YA I fell in love with was gone. I'm curious if anyone else feels the same. Or maybe my particular bookstore is not a solid representative. In any case, please, please fill me in on what you've been reading and loving. Because I am lost in this new sea of contemporary fiction and thrillers. I need guidance. And if you've got a secret stash of PNR, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and their hybrids somewhere, let me in on the password!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Year, New Work, New Possibilities



Long time, no post.

I've been ... well, in fact I've been hiding. Recovering from the implosion that was my life in 2013, and the shrapnel and PTSD that lingered on into 2014. I had little that I would have dubbed worthwhile to report. And my plans for the Otherborn final book have all but disappeared behind a mountain of new responsibilities. I'm not sure I'll ever dig them out again. And for a while it seemed this whole author shindig might just be a wash.

In truth, it's still hanging by a thread. But it's a thread I refuse to let go of. If I have to chew my way through life in order to keep my fingers firmly knotted around this one, small thing for myself, then I will.

For now, that means snatches of time and snippets of words, and an agent I feed pages to the way the Romans must have fed the lions in the Coliseum--gnarly bones and scraps of old gladiator until a fresh kill could be arranged in proper "spectacle" style.

And while I sometimes miss being able to sidle up to my pc morning after morning in my Mr. Roper bathrobe, chugging coffee and chapters until the kids come home, I'm glad to be writing at all. And I'm proud of the work I'm doing, whether it goes anywhere or not. AND, I must admit, my life is full of many wonderful things which have truly been a blessing to me. There's probably a little more balance now. I'm told that's a healthy thing.

I would like to see more time and energy go back into writing in 2015. I'd like this to be the year I remember how it feels to really grind a novel out. One that I'm so immersed in it's hard to come up for air. I wrote a novel last year. I even like it. But I didn't feel present for much of it.

In truth, I don't know what 2015 holds for Anna Silver. I hope some good things. Maybe some big things. I'd be happy with anything. Just so long as she's still here. So long as I still get to be her. I think she has a lot to say yet.

We'll see.