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I Want to Talk About TBSOL

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I really do.

I want to talk about what I’m doing, what I’m thinking of doing, and why I’m thinking of doing those things. I want to explain my choices. I want to walk you through my plans.

I want to talk about TBSOL because I’ve never felt like writing this book was a solo journey. So many of you have been there since the beginning, giving me feedback, reading my drafts. So many of you continue to be there, and continue to support me through all of my versions and all of my craziness, and I love you for it. Truly. Thank you.

I want to talk about TBSOL.

But I’m not going to.

I promised myself I wouldn’t. I promised myself that this time around, I would shut up and just write.

This time around there are no beta readers, no beta team. It’s just me and the keyboard and a whole lot of coffee.

And it’s really effing weird.

So, this post is mostly to say: I’m alive, and I’m writing. I’ve been writing. Off and on. On and off. Well and poorly. Fast and slow. Word after word after word. I’m writing.

I’m not going to talk about TBSOL. This may be the last time I mention it for a very long time. A very long time. Like… at least a week.

But, since we’re friends…

One of my favorite authors, Caitlín R. Kiernan, had a blog back in the day in which she talked about the daily process of writing one of her novels, and as a writer, I found this blog fascinating and invaluable.

I don’t expect to offer anything nearly as fascinating or invaluable to my own readers, but I didn’t want to feel completely disconnected, either, since some of you do love and appreciate the minutia.

So, for those of you who are interested in process, or progress, or in the general abstract randomness that goes into the writing of a book, I’ve started a thing here: http://process.ingriddiaz.com

I don’t know exactly what it is, or what it may become, but it is there for the curious. More importantly, it is public, but mostly hidden, and not filling up your Facebook feeds or inboxes.

It’s a win-win.

Finally: No matter where you are in the world, I pray you are safe.

As always, thank you for your existence.

12 comments
writing

Anyway.

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I’ve been stuck reworking the first few chapters of TBSOL for over a year. It was a half-hearted effort. I felt drained. I felt tired. I felt stressed and weighted down by the knowledge that people are waiting.

The last time I let K read anything I’d written was months ago and she said, “I don’t like it, I’m sorry. I don’t know what you’re doing.”

Nothing was coming together. The flow of the story was wrong, the characters were wrong, and every time I tried to write, all I felt was rage.

This week, the rage went away. I don’t know why. It just went away.

For the past few days I’ve been writing the way I used to write when I was younger, back when it was just me and a keyboard, sitting at my grandparents’ house in Puerto Rico, typing away and not giving a crap.

I couldn’t remember what it felt like to start writing and not want to stop. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to write this novel without a thousand voices in my head telling me which way to go.

I don’t know how long this feeling will last, nor what will come from it. I don’t know if this is a new version, or an old version, or an edited version. I don’t even care anymore, honestly. All I know is that last night was the first time in our twelve-year relationship that I handed K pages of TBSOL to read and didn’t wonder at all whether or not she would like them.

I knew she would.

2 comments
Free Stuff

[Updated] TBSOL v1/v2 Links & EPUB files

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As I mentioned before, Midnight Island will be re-launched as the future hub of my Midnight Sisterhood LGBTQA young adult series, and so midnightisland.com is currently offline (though it should be redirecting back here for now).

I realized this morning that in wiping midnightisland.com, it broke a few links around this site. Most notably were the PDF downloads of  TBSOL v1 in both English and Spanish. I apologize if you tried to access those in the past couple of days and got an error, but they should be up and running again. I took the opportunity to create new PDF files with updated information.

I’m also getting around to converting TBSOL v1/v2 into .epub files, so you can download those if you want to have a copy of TBSOL that’s portable-friendly. I’ll make the Spanish translations available soon.

Here are the updated links for your downloading convenience:

The Blind Side of Love v2

English (version 2) : PDF | EPUB (right-click and save link as)

Español (versión 2) – traducido por Lorena Barrios: PDF

The Blind Side of Love v1

Original (English): PDF | EPUB (right click, save link as)

El Lado Ciego Del Amor (Español): PDF – traducido por Gixane

Enjoy!

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Of Life & Randomness

Onwards and Upwards: An Update

Ah, blogging, how I’ve missed you.

Those of you who are signed up to receive my newsletter are aware that I’ve taken a step back from TBSOL. I’m still working on it – don’t worry –  I’m just trying not to stress out about it.  There are writers who can force it, just pound on the keys until the words come out and the book is finished. I’d (probably) be a lot better off if I were that kind of writer, but I’m not.

This book has become too important to me to wing it haphazardly and I was getting to the point where I just didn’t care anymore if it was good or bad or if anything made sense. I just wanted to finish it. That’s not what I want for this book (especially not for its final version), and I’m certain that’s not what most readers want either. So, I’m hitting pause until I feel I can approach the book from a better emotional standpoint.

TBSOL FV will be done, and when it is done you will know about it. Promise.

the midnight sisterhood: a series

I’m excited to announce the title of my next project: The Midnight Sisterhood, a young adult series about an all-female secret society operating out of (fictional) Midnight Island. There will be spies and mysteries and ghosts and psychics and aliens – and of course – gay girls and romance.

At some point in the future, I’ll be re-launching midnightisland.com as the official hub of the series, and there will be lots more info about it there.

I’m still laying down the foundations of the world, the various plots, and – my favorite part – creating all the characters, but here’s what I can reveal for now:

  • The Midnight Sisterhood is comprised of various secret Orders
  • There are vigilantes, paranormal investigators, hackers, psychics, people with special powers and so on and so forth, all belonging to different Orders with specified operations, and all at different hierarchies of knowledge, access, and power
  • I’m starting the first book with the characters of the High School Vigilante Order, whose main purpose is to spy, gather info, and rectify wrongs wherever they see fit.
  • It will be an LGBTQ series, and most of the main characters will fall somewhere in the not-straight spectrum.

So, that’s what I’m working on when I’m not working on TBSOL.  Most of this will sound familiar if you’ve kept up with the blog, as I’ve mentioned the series before. Now it’s finally taking shape, so I’m excited to be giving it more attention.

in non-writing news:

  • I did an interview with Cúpula de Libros which was featured in the first issue of their Bookovers magazine. Check it out!
  • I’m starting a course in May to get a TEFL certification, which means I’ll be fully qualified to teach English to non-native speakers. I’m excited about that.
  • I’ll be playing WildStar when it launches in June, and looking for people to play with/talk about the game with, so if you’re planning to hit Nexus, let me know!

And that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you’re having a glorious day. Find me on Facebook and Twitter for all my daily nonsense.

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writing

10 Things That Are Different In TBSOL FV

“What’s the main difference between all the different versions of TBSOL?” 

The words.

That’s the short answer.

The medium-length answer is that it depends which versions you’re comparing. If you’re asking what’s different about the final version and the first one, the answer is everything. If the question is about the final version and the second, then almost everything.

The long answer is a lot more complicated, so I’ll attempt to go into it in list-form, because lists are fun.

(This post assumes you’ve read at least one of the versions and know what TBSOL is. If you have no idea what I am talking about, then this will probably make very little sense and I apologize ahead of time. If it helps, I drew some pictures about TBSOL v2 once explaining what it’s about). continue reading…

3 comments
Of Life & Randomness

TBSOL – Notes From Last Night

I was really out of it yesterday after only managing a couple of hours of sleep, which I thought meant I’d fall asleep early and easily, but 2AM rolled around and I was still awake.

Sort of awake.

In and out of awake.

I remember I was trying to fall asleep while thinking about TBSOL and what was left to write. At one point, I had this vision of Kris jumping out of a bed shouting, “FRIES!” and I’m pretty sure I was asleep by that point, but I still remember thinking, “OH MY GOD THAT’S AMAAAAAAZING …. OHHHH BRILLIANT…. WRITE THAT DOWN!”

But I fell back asleep.

Or I thought I did.

I don’t actually recall reaching for my iPad in the middle of the night, but I guess I must have because today I found this:

TBSOL notes

… thanks half-asleep, me.

3 comments
writing

TBSOL Weekend Writing

TBSOL FV is kind of a mess at the moment.

Several things are to blame, I think, but ultimately it’s my lack of self-awareness that often gets me into trouble.

The book got away from me the past few months because I was trying to hurry … because I was impatient … because I was stressed about things that were mostly in my head … because I lost myself.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” -Sylvia Plath

It’s so true.

TBSOL is kind of a mess at the moment, but I’m going to fix it.

Last night, I was watching Scandal, and I said to K, “I think I need to remove that scene where *spoilers*.” And she asked, “Why? Do you think it’s too much?” I said, “I think the timing feels wrong.” So, I finished watching Scandal, and I removed the scene, then wrote 1300 or so words of another that I pulled out of nowhere.

 

TBSOL FV

 

What it looked like a few days earlier:

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And onwards we go.

Have a wonderful week, everyone.

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FAQ

TBSOL Q&A

I received the following questions via Tumblr, and I wanted to answer them here because I receive a variation of these a lot and don’t think I’ve written a public response before.

Thanks for the questions, klaudiagarcia!

Q: What inspired you to write TBSOL?

The idea came to me one night, and never left me. Back then, I was still struggling with being gay. I hadn’t been out for very long, and even though I was “out and proud” at school, I was still battling a lot of insecurities. On the day my parents dropped me off at college, we had a huge fight about me being gay – they had just found out a few weeks prior. For many years, I didn’t talk to them about my personal life, or anything that really mattered to me. It was really hard for me to be happy with myself when I felt like such a huge disappointment.

So, I wrote to make myself feel better. I wrote TBSOL because I wanted to believe in love. I wanted to tell myself a story that would make me happy, because deep down I wasn’t. It took me a long time to work through all of that.

Q: Who’s your favorite character?

I had to go make myself another cup of coffee before answering this because I honestly didn’t know what to write.

I think if you ask me who my favorite character is in a TV show or a movie or someone else’s book, that’s far easier to answer. I think we’re drawn to characters who speak to some part of who we are or want to become. But it’s hard to pick and choose from among my own characters because they’re figments of my imagination.

I’ll say this, though: Leigh is the most fun to write dialogue for.

Q: Was there something that you wanted to convey with the story?

I think what I wanted to convey with the first version was that it’s okay to be gay, because that’s what I most wanted to tell myself. I wanted to write a happy story, where two girls fall in love and neither one of them dies at the end. That was really the full extent of my goal at the time.

When I went back to finish TBSOL v2, I was a much different person that I’d been when I’d started it. I didn’t have the same insecurities about being gay. I had found the girl of my dreams. My relationship with my parents was in a much better place. In other words, I was happy and I was at peace. And so, my motivation behind writing was no longer about me, or making myself feel better. It became about other people, and trying to make a difference with my writing.

I don’t want anyone to ever feel bad about who they are, and that’s a message that’s really important to me.

You are not alone is what I most want to convey with anything I ever write. But I’ll settle for hoping that, at the very least, I made someone smile.

2 comments
Announcements

Today’s the Day…

… that I announce the winner of the Alix & Valerie giveaway, so if you threw your name in the box, be sure to check your inbox later on for the big announcement. If you missed the deadline this time around, or if you didn’t win, worry not. I’ve got a few more books to give away in the incoming months, so stay tuned, and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t already, as that’s where all the fun stuff goes down.

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Note for gmail users: If you haven’t been hearing from me, check the tab for “promotions” to see if my emails to you are getting filtered over there. Simply drag an email from me from “promotions” over to “primary” to receive them into your primary inbox from now on.

continue reading…

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Drawings & Projects

An unlikely offspring & a TBSOL FV progress report (with snippet)

image 30 Day Drawing Challenge – Day 2: ‘Draw the offspring of two unlikely animals’

Today I have drawn for you the offspring of a shark and a unicorn – a unishark, if you will. His name is Gaylord. He enjoys long swims by the shore, and complimenting fish for no reason. He’s also very ticklish.

continue reading…

6 comments