If you’re writing for #NaNoWriMo (or any time) keep going!

writing-20141124_111949

If you’re writing a novel, you have something you want–or maybe need–to say. Something that’s important to you. Keep going! Keep writing, listening to your heart and letting the words flow from your heart to your fingertips, and out into your pen or your keyboard.

When you’re writing a first draft (or editing a second or fifth or tenth draft), there’s often a point about mid-way or three-quarters of the way through when you start to feel exhaustion from working so hard, or you may even start doubting your work. But don’t listen to that. You have something you need to say. Something that will matter to other people. So keep writing. Keep letting the words spill out onto the page. Someday, that novel may reach other people and change their lives for the better. Someday, your words may help others know that they’re not alone, or things can get better, or they may just help someone else escape from something painful in their life for a while and gain a little good feeling.

So keep going. Don’t stop now. You can do it!

Love from a fellow book lover and writer.

PS

This was my first year taking part in #NaNoWriMo (though I’ve written and published 6 books), and I LOVED it.

I love writing quickly. I always write first drafts of my books quickly; I think it keeps me firmly in my writing mode, where I’m deeply connected to my creativity, inner voice, and what I need to say, rather than my editor mode, where I’m looking at the language and content and picking it apart to make it stronger and better. I think first drafts are meant to be written quickly, so we stay in the hearts and minds of our characters and the writing. At least, that’s what works best for me.

So whether you normally write quickly or not, #NaNoWriMo may be the perfect time to jump into writing flat-out fast, getting all the words out on the page before the editor in your head chimes in. The perfect time to keep the words flowing forward.

Write what you want, what you need. Enjoy it! And if you reach your 50,000-word goal for #NaNoWriMo this year, take heart in seeing “winner” pop up after you validate your manuscript, or watching the video of other writers cheering and clapping you on. Writing can be such a solitary endeavor; I wish we always had “winner” pop up and a cheering crowd for every new book and every new draft we completed. But we can imagine our own cheerleaders, or let our friends know and celebrate with them.

Keep writing. Enjoy the process. You can do this!

And then take a well-deserved break. I know I am. (smiling)

Comments & letters like these two from readers are a HUGE part of why I write

Comments from readers like these two–by Miracle and Annie–are a HUGE part of why I write. It is incredible to hear that my books help people stay alive and get through hard times, or stop cutting and get help, or accept their queerness and come out to others! (beaming) Amazing and so feel-good to have my books help others survive and heal and stay alive–just the way my favorite books helped me. I’m not sure I could have survived the torture and abuse I did without books, so it feels like a gift to me that my books help others, too.

I feel I can share these two letters because they were made publicly. I receive letters like this often–and they fuel me. They are soul food. On my darkest days, they give me light.

So if you have a book that helped you through hard times, don’t hesitate to let the author know!

feel-good-miracle-pinchera-youtube

feel-good-annie-rin-ortiz-fb-02

A lot of writing & marketing ebooks on sale today only for #writers today only. Grab them while you can!

There are a number of writing technique and book marketing ebooks on sale today only (Fri Nov 7, 2014) for only $0.99 on Amazon that, if you’re a writer, published or pre-published, you may want to buy. I’ve snatched up most of the ones I’ve listed here myself. As a writer, I think I can always keep learning and growing, perfecting my craft.

Writing Technique

Mary Buckham’s Writing Active Setting Book 1: Characterization and Sensory Detail.
Mary Buckham teaches courses on writing technique, and I’ve loved very article I’ve read by her, so I snatched this one up immediately. I highly recommend her work.









Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between by James Scott Bell.

I’ve bought and read James Scott Bell’s books on writing technique before; I know he has solid, helpful advice, so I snatched this one up, too. :)










The Indie Author Power Pack: How To Write, Publish, & Market Your Book

This is a 3-book set, combining: WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT.: The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success by Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant; LET’S GET DIGITAL: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should by David Gaughran; and HOW TO MARKET A BOOK by Joanna Penn. I know Joanna Penn’s work; she’s the author of many fiction and non-fiction books and blogs at thecreativepenn, so I snatched this deal just for her book, but I’m also really interested in reading Write, Publish, Repeat, and at $0.99 for all three this is a steal.




Writing the Heart of Your Story: The Secret to Crafting an Unforgettable Novel (The Writer’s Toolbox Series) by C. S. Lakin.

C.S. Lakin is an author and a writing coach; I’ve appreciated (and recommended) many of her articles on her blog LiveWriteThrive, so I snatched her book up, too.









Writing a Killer Thriller: An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction by Jodie Renner.

Jodie Renner is an editor offering advice on creating fast-paced, compelling fiction. I think editors, because they see so much work (both good and bad), and because they’ve trained in writing and editing, have a lot to offer writers that we can learn from. So I bought this book, too.










Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction (Busy Writer’s Guides Book 4) by Marcy Kennedy.

Even when we know writing technique and “rules,” sometimes a refresher helps, or hearing it a different way. I liked the conversational tone to her book, so I bought this one, too. :)







Book Promotion

Book Marketing is Dead: Book Promotion Secrets You MUST Know BEFORE You Publish Your Book.

As published authors, we’re expected to market our books. This book sounds like it may have some good advice and takes a different approach than some books and articles I’ve read, so I also bought it.










Goodreads For Authors: How To Use Goodreads To Promote Your Books

I know GoodReads can help readers find our books; I’ve used GoodReads for contests for ARCs and finished books, and I have my blog appear on GoodReads. I’m interested on reading what else authors can do.









How To Get Honest Reviews: 7 Proven Ways to Connect With Readers and Reviewers (Book Marketing Survival Guide Series 1) by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart.

I don’t have trouble getting reviews–I query book bloggers–but if you’re just starting out, or if you haven’t had to do this for yourself before, you may want to get this book. I may still pick it up myself because it looks like they have some things I haven’t thought about before.





I am honored to have two of my books mentioned in Bibliotherapy For Teens on SLJ

bibliotherapy-for-teens-slj
I am honored to have two of my books–SCARS and STAINED–included under PTSD/Abuse & Assault in “Bibliotherapy for Teens: Helpful Tips and Recommended Fiction” by librarian Erin E Moulton on School Library Journal’s site. Erin wrote a moving and insightful article on the need for fiction to help readers, and she put together a fantastic list of books librarians, teachers, and readers can turn to for various mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD especially from abuse and assault (and resulting in self-harm), dissociation, eating disorders, bi-polar, and more!

I used books to survive my own abuse and trauma as a child and teen–and I still use books to help me cope with the effects of trauma. So it always feels so good to hear from other readers and from librarians (and teachers) who recommend my books to others, or who read my books themselves and find them helpful. Thank you Erin for helping others find my books!

I am participating in #NaNoWriMo for the first time

national-novel-writing-month-short
and really loving it. I’ve always written first drafts quickly, but I’ve never taken part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, where writers, pre-published and published, try to write a 50,000-word novel–or longer–in a month. I’m glad I’m taking part this year.

I’d forgotten the joy that comes from writing a first draft (I’ve been editing two other books I’ve written, lately). I love writing quickly. I think writing quickly is part of what gets me past the editor in me. While editing is necessary, I think it’s best to come in during the second and further drafts.

I did plan out my book first (using The Anatomy of Story by John Truby, as I always do), so I know the direction I’m going, but I love discovering new things about my characters or a new plot twist or point as I write.

I’m writing about ten pages a day–by hand. I write (and edit) all my books by hand; it feels the most connected to my creativity and inner voice. I’ve been trying to cram writing this new book and then typing it up into each day, but I’m behind in typing it up (and trying to pace myself so I don’t burn myself out). So my updates on how much I’ve written are about four or five days behind on NaNoWriMo. I’m glad people understand that some of us write by hand! (And all this while I’m sick–but I’m having fun!)

I am writing a YA paranormal fantasy set in my HUNTED world, about Gemma, a queer black telekenetic girl who has been sucked into all the anti-Para messages that are constantly being spewed at her–through school, her home and neighborhood, her community, and the media, the church, and the government. This is about a girl who starts out hating herself–because after all she IS a Para, and her own mother abandoned her because of it–but in the end she discovers she’s stronger and better than she realizes. It’s about a girl who’s bought into the oppressive messages in society and is forced to unravel them. A girl who has the family and love she’s always craved, but just hasn’t seen it yet. A girl who, in the end, will have to save herself. It will be a stand-alone fantasy, but it will have some mentions of characters from HUNTED for those readers who loved HUNTED.

If you’d like to connect with me on the NaNoWriMo website, I’m here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/cherylrainfield/novels/endangered-642915/

Mary Amato, author of YA novel Get Happy, on divorce–and win a signed copy!

mary-amato-gethappy_web-500

I’m happy to host Mary Amato, YA author of Get Happy, today–talking about divorce and writing about painful issues. Readers, if you’d like to win a signed copy of Get Happy, please leave a comment on this post. US and Canada only. (I’m two days late on posting this; I’ve been sick. My apologies!) Take it away, Mary!


One of the central issues of Get Happy is how divorce can affect a child. Minerva’s father leaves when she is two, and she struggles with this throughout her childhood and into her teen years.

Divorce can be messy and the adults involved can sometimes fail to understand what the child needs. Minerva feels as if the subject is taboo and so she bottles up her questions and her emotions, which is the opposite of what she needs.

I know that my adult readers are not going to like the way the parents in this book behave. They aren’t good role models by any means. They’re flawed. They’re human.

To me, it’s important to write about all kinds of experiences because life is messy. Books can provide safe places to explore lots of different emotions.


mary-amato-library portrait-500
Author Bio:
Mary Amato is an award-winning children’s book author, songwriter, musician, puppeteer, and poet. She writes for children of all ages, and is beginning to focus on YA. Her first YA novel was Guitar Notes. Mary lives with her family outside Washington, DC, where she also performs regularly, singing and playing her own songs. Mary is a popular speaker and runs numerous workshops for teachers and students, including many on all aspects of creative writing, even songwriting. The author lives in Silver Spring, MD. You can visit her online at thrumsociety.


Readers! Leave a comment below to win a signed copy of Get Happy! (US and Canada only)

And check out the other stops along the tour.

Thursday, October 30, 2014
Reading Nook Reviews: Q&A and giveaway

Fandom Monthly: Giveaway

Rockin Book Reviews: Review and giveaway

Saturday, November 01, 2014
Adventures in YA Publishing: Question

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Children’s Book Review:
Guest Column and giveaway

STAINED is on sale for $1.99 on #Kindle and #Nook until Oct 31st!

If you loved SCARS, I think you’ll enjoy STAINED–and you may want to get it while it’s deeply discounted. Right now STAINED is on sale for both Kindle and Nook for $1.99–until Oct 31st. I hope you grab yourself a copy. :)

In STAINED, Sarah think she knows what fear is–until she’s abducted. Then she must find a way to save herself.

Like I did with SCARS, I drew on my own trauma and healing experience to write STAINED.

I hope you enjoy it! And if you enjoy it, or like this deal, I hope you’ll let others know about it, too. :)

My Anti-Bully Dear Teen Me letter. #OneVoice Against Bullying

OneVoice-EntTeen-webbanner-ad8-STATIC(476x286)

Dear Teen Me,

I know you have no safe place—not at home being abused, and not at school being bullied. You are an easy target: shy, scared, jumping at touch, not looking people in the eyes—the marks of someone who’s been hurt. You’re afraid all the time. You hate yourself instead of your abusers and tormentors. You cut to cope. You think about killing yourself. But you keep hanging in there. You’re stronger than you know.

I know you think you’re weak. All the terrible things that happen to you at home. The way you struggle to stand up to your own bullies. But do you remember that Spring day on the way home from school when those boys were running after a girl with coke-bottle glasses and ill-fitting clothes, hooting and hollering at her, calling her names, throwing things? Do you remember how you ran after them, shouting at them to leave her alone? How angry and protective you felt? And how when the boys turned and saw you they ran away?

Do you remember the look in the girl’s eyes—the surprise and the relief that someone cared enough to stand up for her? Or how you walked her home even though it was out of your way just so she’d stay safe? And how you listened to all the horrible things she’d been through and told her she didn’t deserve any of it? That wasn’t weakness, Cheryl. That was strength. I am so very proud of you for standing up to those boys. For helping that girl find a small pocket of safety.

So what if you couldn’t do that for yourself yet? You were still being abused at home. You had victim tortured into you. But still you stood up for others. And you did it over and over again—with that same girl on other walks home, with a girl being harassed by a drunk man on the streetcar, with another girl being sexually harassed, with children being hit by their parents. You tried to protect other kids and teens the way you needed to have someone protect you. You were brave, even though you didn’t feel like you were.

I know you still feel ashamed for some of the bullying you endured, for the way you couldn’t protect yourself. Like the time you were wearily leaning against your girlfriend’s shoulder on the bus and the driver stopped the bus and told you to separate or you’d have to get off. You argued with him, but he was enraged and in authority, and you were too tired and scared so you pulled away from your girlfriend and sat there, feeling humiliated and ashamed and later angry at yourself, wishing you’d written down his number and reported him. Or like the boys in school who would poke you and then hoot and laugh when you jumped—over and over again. You were so angry and ashamed because you couldn’t stop yourself from jumping, couldn’t fight back. Or like the time that man said that he should have sex with you so you wouldn’t be queer—suggesting rape would “fix” you. You froze when he and the other men laughed, fear gripping you, and it took you long moments to tell them that that wasn’t okay. You still feel ashamed that you didn’t stand up to them more strongly. To all your bullies. But you don’t deserve that shame or the anger you turn on yourself. It belongs to the people who hurt you.

And you know what? You often did stand up for yourself, even though it felt like they won. Sometimes it’s okay to not challenge too hard for your own safety. And the other times? Come on, you were a traumatized, bullied kid. Have more compassion for yourself. Yes, you wish you’d done more. Or that someone else had stood up for you. But it’s time to let that go, and to recognize your own strength.
I know you’re hurting—so badly that you don’t want to be here. That every day feels like another day you can’t endure. But I’m glad you’re here. You have a place in this world. Never forget that. And there are good people, even if you haven’t met many of them yet. Just keep hanging on. You will find more and more people with love in their hearts instead of hate.

I want you to be proud of who you are. You’re a survivor, a strong, gentle soul who doesn’t hurt others even though most others hurt you. You have compassion and kindness for others even though you don’t experience that yourself. And you will put even more goodness into the world with your writing. Yes, you will publish books! So be gentle with yourself. Let yourself love yourself, just a little. Let go of the hate and shame that aren’t yours. And know that things will get better. You will find true friends, kindness, love. You will find hope. And one day you will be glad that you are here, making a difference in the world.

I pledge to speak out against bullying when I see it & try to make a positive difference in this world, always. #OneVoice


I hope you’ll join us all in taking a stand against bullying. Share the #OneVoice hashtag and let’s let people know that bullying has to stop!

The fantastic YA authors who are taking part in the #OneVoice Campaign all this month include:
Oct. 1- Cole Gibsen
Oct. 2- Ellen Hopkins
Oct. 3- Ann Aguirre
Oct. 4-5- weekend/open
Oct.. 6- Anna Banks
Oct. 7- Shannon Lee Alexander
Oct. 8- Julie Cross
Oct. 9- Alyssa Day writing as Lucy Connors
Oct. 10- Jus Accardo
Oct. 11- D.R. Rosensteel
Oct. 12- Sunday/open
Oct. 13- Rebekah Purdy
Oct. 14- Mary Lindsey
Oct. 15- Tracy Clark
Oct. 16- Chantele Sedgwick
Oct.17- Francesca Zappia and Rachel Caine’s post (Rachel in the morning, Francia in the afternoon)
Oct. 18- Lisa Brown Roberts
Oct. 19- Victoria Scott
Oct. 20- Trinity Faegan
Oct. 21- Tiffany Truitt
Oct. 22- Tara Fuller
Oct. 23-Jennifer Bosworth
Oct. 24- Cheryl Rainfield
Oct. 25- Chloe Jacobs
Oct. 26- Sunday/open
Oct. 27- Carrie Jones
Oct. 28- Sarah Bomley
Oct. 29- Sarah Darer Littman
Oct. 30- Tonya Kuper
Oct. 31- Nikki Urang

I hope you’ll check in (you can go back to look at any post), leave comments, and help spread the word!

Why I Won’t Be Buying Books By John Grisham

I love a good suspense book. Maybe because most of my life was so full of terror and pain; I can relate to the threats, and I love it when a good person wins out, and people who hurt others get justice. But I won’t ever buy a John Grisham book.

Why? Because John Grisham said that people who watch and download child porn should not be jailed and that “current sentencing policies failed to draw a distinction between real-world abusers and those who downloaded content, accidentally or otherwise.”

john-grisham-child-porn

Wow. Excuse me while I take some deep breaths.

People who watch and download child porn are what drive the child-porn industry. Watching child porn is still exploitation. A child was abused and dehumanized to make that child porn that someone is sitting in their cozy house watching, getting off on. And suggesting that some men might download child porn by “mistake” or while drunk is excusing the behavior. It doesn’t recognize the culture we live in that encourages rape and child exploitation. It’s not thinking about the children that were used to create the child porn, the pain and trauma they endured. It’s severely lacking in compassion for victims, for anyone who isn’t an adult white male (John’s friend who he was identifying with) and that worries me.

Have I mentioned that my parents made child porn using me and other children, to make money to help fund the cult they belong to? I was regularly raped, forced to engage in sexual acts, and dehumanized in some very humiliating, degrading, sickening scenarios, all while being filmed, for men (and women) who would pay for the videos or photos.

It left emotional scars, along with the other abuse and torture I endured, that stay with me today. While I have finally learned to be pretty okay with a camera (especially cell phone cameras that don’t look like traditional cameras), for years I couldn’t bear being photographed or filmed. I still get triggered into traumatic memories every time I have to do a TV interview or too many people ask to take my photo in a short period of time. And the child porn messed up my body image, my comfort with my own sexuality, and left me fearful, mistrusting, and hating my own body and sexuality. It also, along with all the other abuse, left me with many psychological effects, including severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, dissociation, self-harm, wanting to die, and other effects.

The effects of child porn, abuse, rape, trauma, and exploitation is what I try to help others understand, on a gut and emotional level, through my books. I try to help people understand the severity of the effects, and also that healing is possible. I wish everyone who thought that child abuse or child porn was okay had to experience, just briefly through a good book, what it’s actually like. Perhaps they wouldn’t be so quick to encourage it to happen.

Child porn isn’t okay. Watching it isn’t okay. Making it isn’t okay. And while I don’t think people who watch, download, and/or buy child porn should get a higher sentence than people who create it, I do think there should be consequences. It’s never okay to exploit children (or anyone else). It’s never okay to use and harm others for your own pleasure.

So I will never buy a John Grisham book. I will never recommend his books to any of my friends. And I hope you will think twice about buying his books, or that you will consider donating to an organization that supports survivors, such as RAINN or your local rape crisis center, or an organization that fights child porn and child exploitation. We can make a healing, positive difference in this world. And it starts with compassion.

I’m Proud To Be Part of #OneVoice Campaign: An Anti-Bully Project With Entangled, Dear Teen Me, and YA Authors

OneVoice-EntTeen-webbanner-ad8-STATIC(476x286)

So many teens are bullied every year–and it affects their self-confidence, happiness, mental health, and overall wellness. Sometimes it takes lives. I was bullied as a teen, and between the bullying at school and the abuse at home I had no safe place. I wanted to die often. I think we need to keep talking about bullying and keep raising awareness so that people who are bullied get support, compassion, and safety; people who bully can get help to find out why they bully and hopefully stop hurting others; and bullying can end. I hope for a more compassionate world, and I see that happening (slowly).

I think talking about painful issues is part of what helps bring change, so I’m happy to be part of the #OneVoice Campaign through Entangled and Dear Teen Me, where all this month YA authors write a Dear Teen Me letter to their teen selves about the impact bullying had on them. (My post is on Oct 24th.) There are so many fantastic YA authors taking part in this; I hope you’ll drop by EntangledTeen often this month and check out the wise, heartfelt, and powerful posts, and leave a comment for the authors. And if you believe that bullying should stop, please help spread the word using the hashtag #OneVoice.

Here is my pledge against bullying:

I pledge to speak out against bullying when I see it & try to make a positive difference in this world, always. #OneVoice

I hope you’ll join us all in taking a stand against bullying.

The fantastic YA authors who are taking part in the #OneVoice Campaign this month include:
Oct. 1- Cole Gibsen
Oct. 2- Ellen Hopkins
Oct. 3- Ann Aguirre
Oct. 4-5- weekend/open
Oct.. 6- Anna Banks
Oct. 7- Shannon Lee Alexander
Oct. 8- Julie Cross
Oct. 9- Alyssa Day writing as Lucy Connors
Oct. 10- Jus Accardo
Oct. 11- D.R. Rosensteel
Oct. 12- Sunday/open
Oct. 13- Rebekah Purdy
Oct. 14- Mary Lindsey
Oct. 15- Tracy Clark
Oct. 16- Chantele Sedgwick
Oct.17- Francesca Zappia and Rachel Caine’s post (Rachel in the morning, Francia in the afternoon)
Oct. 18- Lisa Brown Roberts
Oct. 19- Victoria Scott
Oct. 20- Trinity Faegan
Oct. 21- Tiffany Truitt
Oct. 22- Tara Fuller
Oct. 23-Jennifer Bosworth
Oct. 24- Cheryl Rainfield
Oct. 25- Chloe Jacobs
Oct. 26- Sunday/open
Oct. 27- Carrie Jones
Oct. 28- Sarah Bomley
Oct. 29- Sarah Darer Littman
Oct. 30- Tonya Kuper
Oct. 31- Nikki Urang



Reasons Not To Hurt Yourself


If You're Thinking of Suicide


Tips On Dealing With Self-Harm


10 Ways To Improve Your Body Image And Feel Better About Your Body


Girls Are Strong (And Boys Are, Too). 17 Ways To Be Strong


Writing Technique Books I Recommend


Writing Technique Books & Online Courses I recommend by Holly Lisle


Love my books?
Join my Street Team!

You'll get my gratitude, hear book news first, get swag, enter to win private contests, and more.


Cheryl Rainfield's Recommended YA Books on self-harm, sexual abuse, being queer, & more




Cheryl Rainfield: TV Interview DayTime Toronto


 Subscribe in a reader


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Cheryl Rainfield author FAQ

Cheryl Rainfield interview on Fox25





Self-Harm Is NOT Trendy










Cheryl Rainfield at Blogged Children's Books Blog Directory




Search & Win




Add This Blog to the JacketFlap Blog Reader





Recent Posts

Find a Book

Gifts for Booklovers

Picture Book Reviews & Lists

Teen & Children's Book Blogs

Teen Book Reviews & Lists

Archives

November 2014
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930