Cara Elizabeth

Words from our Indie Publishing Muse, Cara Elizabeth

KICKSTARTER ALERT: Adventures of the Dress

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Cara Elizabeth, Waiting on Wednesday | 0 comments

KICKSTARTER ALERT: Adventures of the Dress

I love to celebrate amazing books so I wanted to tell you about The Adventures of the Dress by Cara Vescio (you probably recognize her because she was one of Pen & Muse’s Map To Self-Publishing Authors). She’s embarked on the most incredible journey to celebrate women all through adventures while wearing the SAME dress. I think I’ve mentioned this before but, I love The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It’s one of the coolest books (and movies) ever. The idea of being bonded to fellow women and empowered through a simple piece of clothing is so interesting to me. I think all too often, as women, we’re pressured to look a certain way or act a certain way. But what I loved about The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (besides Costas) was that the jeans embraced each girl no matter who she was, what she looked like, or where in the world she was located. I wished that this could be real.   And then it kind of did become real thanks to fabulous author Cara Vescio. And what’s even cooler…YOU can be a part of the story.     I met Cara through Twitter. She’s a writer, I’m a writer, and we just clicked.   We talked more and more via Twitter and at some point she wrote and had her book series (Elegantly Wasted, Uncontrollably Wasted, etc.) was picked up and published. It’s a new adult series about a kick-ass assassin who is dripping in sarcasm.  Seriously, she’s one of the best female main characters I’ve ever read. But I digress.   Our friendship progressed to the point where I met her in person! She was featured in the Las Vegas Book Festival so I drove out from California and helped man her book table. It was a blast. Then she came to California to visit. And again last year, when ALA came to her state, I drove out to Vegas and we hung out together. If you don’t know her…Let me tell you about Cara.   She’s just as kick-ass as her females in her books. She’s smart. Talented. Hilarious. A creative genius. And like Frankie (from the Wasted series) dripping with sarcasm that only makes you love her more. Cara believes in writing and she believes in women, and that’s why when she told me about her new project, I couldn’t help but squeal in delight!     What is The Adventures of the Dress? I’ll let Cara tell you.   Why do I think this project kicks ass? Because it showcases ALL WOMEN, in all sizes, shapes, locations, ages, and celebrates their diversity, their uniqueness, and their strength as women. Actually, some of my favorite author-ly women are in it too, like Rebekah Crane and New York Times best-selling author Jessica Park!     How can you be a part of it? It’s simple! Help fund her Kickstarter! And get a kick-ass book too along with it (and some cool swag). Fund Adventures of the Dress!   What if you can not afford it? Like any book, if you love the idea and can’t afford it, spread the word! Tell everyone about it! Because if you love an author or a book, you should share...

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Waiting on Wednesday: Wasteland by C. Elizabeth Vescio

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Cara Elizabeth, Reading, Waiting on Wednesday | 1 comment

Waiting on Wednesday: Wasteland by C. Elizabeth Vescio

I love the Wasted series by C. Elizabeth Vescio. So imagine my delight when she told me she was releasing a compilation book of beginnings. Finally, readers can see a glimpse into the past of the best, brightest, and most dangerous of Osiris agents. I loved the book series so much that I was even able to help pick the tagline of Wasteland, which is, “Survival Not Guaranteed.” It’s perfect! Wasteland follows the release of Elegantly Wasted (book #1) and Uncontrollably Wasted (book #2). Check out Wasteland!   About Wasteland A collection of short stories from the minds of Osiris’ finest lunatics. A mysterious assassin, a manic doctor, a Catholic School girl, a sly con-woman, a confused kid, a driven socialite… you may be surprised how some of these proficient killers started out in the world of Osiris. What do you think? Will you be reading Wastelands? Have you read any of the other books in the wasted series? What book is on your Waiting on Wednesday list? Let me know in the comments below! Shout out to Jill from Breaking the Spine for hosting this weekly blog...

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Clearing Writer’s Block 101 by C. Elizabeth Vescio

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in Cara Elizabeth, Map to Self Publishing, Writing | 0 comments

Clearing Writer’s Block 101 by C. Elizabeth Vescio

Clearing Writer’s Block 101   “I love Writer’s Block,” said no one ever. It’s a huge pain in the ass and only shows up at the most inconvenient of times… not that there’s any sort of convenient time for it. Yeah, it sucks. No one likes it. So, let’s go over ways of not letting it win while you have some fun (and perhaps get some of that sunlight your pasty skin has been needing).   Know When To Quit: I don’t know about you, but I don’t set timers. When I write, I go with it… for an hour or eight. As long as the ideas are coming, I don’t stop. When the ideas stall out… then, I set a timer. If I can’t write more than a few sentences in a thirty minute time frame, I consider myself blocked. You shouldn’t just sit and stare at your screen for an hour, telling yourself that the ideas will come- go do something productive instead. In the long run, it will be better for your brain. The word ‘quit’ has a positive meaning here… you quit now to come back refreshed later. Be okay with taking a break- even if you only set aside an hour to write, and it’s not happening.   Meditate: Let me regale you with the tales of my skyrocketing blood pressure when I’m under a deadline. That shit isn’t pretty. It’s easy to become frustrated when you have writer’s block. Both my editor and my book cover designer suggested meditation. Whatever your beliefs are, you can turn to this easy practice… five minutes, fifty minutes… whatever you need. The point is to clear your head and relax. If you have an iPhone, there is an app called Calm. This app has saved me some friendships. It’s an easy start to guided meditation. I could write an entire blog post on mediation alone, but for now, I’ll give you the basics: find a quiet area, put a large pillow on the floor and burn some incense if you have the initiative. Then… you just breath. Trust me, I’m like the least new agey person I know and I have learned to trust meditation.   If you want to take it to another level, bring in a crystal called Chrysocolla. It’s purpose is to invoke clarity of thought. I call it the writer’s stone.   Watch a Movie: This is one of the easiest ways to clear your block. It’s worked for me 97% of the time. I’ve found it more successful if you make it count- go to a movie theater with someone or by yourself. Choose a movie that runs along the same lines as what you’re writing… if you write YA, go see a coming of age movie. If you write action, I’m sure Bruce Willis has something out right now. Horror? Usually the straight to video movies work best- but there’s always something creepy showing. Or, just see something you know that you’ll connect with. If you’re a science fiction writer… forgo the movie theater and just watch Firefly or Doctor Who.   While watching something new may work better, there’s nothing to say that a comfort movie can’t help you clear your block as well. My go-to-at-home movies/series in a variety of genres: Love Actually, the Fifth Element, Die Hard, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Airplane, Constantine, Interview with the Vampire, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Can’t Hardly Wait… and (you go Glen Coco) Mean Girls. Stay away from movies that are specifically about writers. You don’t need that added...

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Musing New Years Resolutions With The Muses

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in Cara Elizabeth, Faith McKay, Writing | 2 comments

Musing New Years Resolutions With The Muses

It’s that time of year, again! A new year, a new you. Here’s what some of the Muses are going to conquer for 2014.   I will edit all of the previously neglected manuscripts of 2013. (This might require bribing myself with cupcakes at some point. Which could mean 2015’s life resolutions may bring more P90X. Shrug.) I’ll leave my comfort zone. Whether that means giving up first person present (*sobs*), attempting a new genre, or maybe trying a male pov, I’ll attempt something new. Because how can you grow if you only continue to do the same things? I won’t feel guilty about when I can’t write. Sometimes life is crazy. It’s unavoidable. All I can do is the best that I can when life, work, and sanity allows. Feeling guilty about it isn’t going to improve my work, or encourage me to work. I will not compare my results to others. You know when you go through your twitter feed and you’re all “ERMAGERD, MARY SUE WRITER WROTE AN 250K MANUSCRIPT IN TWO WEEKS, AND IT’S TAKEN ME A WEEK TO FIX MY OUTLINE AFTER MY CHARACTER DECIDED TO FOLLOW HIS OWN MAP.”?  Yeah, stop that. Everyone works on their own pace. Every story has its own pace. As long as words are getting on the paper, progress is being made. I will compare my results to myself. To me, this is the whole point of Nanowrimo (or any other similar event). I know now how many words are perfectly feasible for me in a pretty hectic month. This is a pretty good margin to go by to figure out if I’m on par with my best capability.   1. To write a minimum of 1000 words a day. 2. To try my hand at screen writing (and actually use those screen writing books I bought). 3. Go to at least one writing or book related conference. 4. Re-read all of the Harry Potter books because IDONTNEEDAREASON. 5. Polish up my current WIP Thick As Thieves and put it on submission. 6. Drink more tea. 7. Read a minimum of four books a month.   The truth is that I don’t really have any writing resolutions this year. I’ve worked out a nice little system for my daily habits, and I resolve to keep going with them and always be on the lookout for adjustments as life demands changes be made. This is the way I always am, so I don’t really feel the need for a yearly resolution for writing. I do have publishing resolutions, however. It’s all summed up pretty simply with: let go. I spent a lot of time in 2013 stressing out and chasing my tail on all things publishing, which gets you nowhere, friends. I’ve known for a long time that I need to work on taking myself less seriously and get out of my own way, but it was one thing to know that and another to actually do it. Somehow, after a year of work, right at the end of it all, I finally felt ready to make the change! And so 2014 is going to be about enacting the things I already knew. I’ve already gotten a start on it by letting Liberty Bound (Lacuna Valley #2) finally leave my hands on New Year’s Eve. I’m letting go of that book, finishing off the little details on a handful of others, and moving forward! The New Year is starting off on a strong foot. 1. Write 1500 words a day 2. Reach a wider audience for my books 3. Go somewhere or...

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Starting a Novel: To Sequel or Not to Sequel by C. Elizabeth Vescio

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Cara Elizabeth, Pen and Muse Summer School, Starting A Novel, Writing | 7 comments

Starting a Novel: To Sequel or Not to Sequel by C. Elizabeth Vescio

Sequels. Just the word makes me giggle in anticipation. There’s this need to know what comes next. As a reader, I tend to want the stories to keep going… there is no end- there can’t be. Continue the story, please. Then comes the reality. It’s not always needed… and it’s not always so. It didn’t end how I wanted it… you [exploitive deleted] author on your high horse. Today, the drive of the sequel comes from our marketing system… it mainly involves money. Is your story good? Write a sequel. Is your story marketable? Write a series. Are you marketable? Take ten years to write the last book. As a writer, you set off to tell a story. You probably sit down and write out your idea as an outline- or just humor me and pretend you do. During this time is when it’s a super awesome idea to figure out if you want to write a sequel. It’s a relatively painful four step process:   Step One: Take away the fear of unknown. don’t think about how you’re book is going to do in the market. Don’t think about people loving or hating it (they’ll do that anyway). Think about your story and how you want that story to unfold. How much of a story do you have in your head? What’s it going to take for you to get this story out? It’s your tale to tell- don’t think too much about your consumers in this step… that comes next. This step is about you. It’s about rounding up that dream in your head and taking those first steps. As small as your first step may be- take the time to think about the bigger picture. Step Two: Think about time and your support system. A novel- if written well and edited properly- should take a long time to become whole. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know! If you’re spitting these ideas out semi-annually then your idea- while good- might not be refined, and that takes away from you as an author. It’s more like a television show with plot holes. It’s not a race. Realistically, you’re looking to dedicate a good chunk of your life to this book- and if you’re self published even more. Make sure you have that support system. Sit down with your friends and family and lay it out for them. They need to know you’re planning on not only writing one book, but writing possibly two or more. My book’s first draft was written out fairly quickly… then came over a year of thinking, adding, editing and learning. During this time, I realized I wanted to write a series. I wanted the first book to be more of an origins story and then two to three more books would carry out a larger story. Then, when the first book released, the reception was better than I expected on a few different fronts. I knew I’d have to continue writing. Better yet, I wanted to- but it’s good to get some justification. I said goodbye to my time. Writing and tending to my family’s needs became my priorities. This would be my life. That’s not to be taken too seriously- obviously you make time to do other crap. What I’m talking about is always having this story in the back of your mind. Always be prepared to write something down: ideas, characters, quotes, details of a place you’re visiting… everything can be used as inspiration. It can be overwhelming at times. Writing one book can take up most of your time for about a year...

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Uncontrollably Wasted Cover Reveal!

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Cara Elizabeth, Map to Self Publishing, New Adult, Reading | 0 comments

Uncontrollably Wasted Cover Reveal!

I think one of the most exciting things about our Map to Self Publishing is seeing the success of our fellow Muses. One of which, we’re celebrating today. Today is the cover reveal for Muse Cara Elizabeth’s second novel in her Wasted Series, Uncontrollably Wasted. In case you haven’t checked out the first book, Elegantly Wasted, add it to your Goodreads today! It’s a fantastic new adult novel that in my opinion, is unlike any other new adults books out today. It’s snarky, edgy, sexy, and about a kick-ass female assassin. Uncontrollably Wasted comes out Fall 2013, but today we get to revel in the cover reveal. Feast your eyes!  Coming Fall 2013 from Luna Station Press Add it to your Goodreads   About the author C. Elizabeth Vescio: Jack of all trades and stereotypical black sheep, Cara has been writing somewhat dark and morbid since that teen angst hit somewhere in the early 90’s- probably because her dad was a mortician. After pursuing a degree in English, she changed gears to photography and design in 2006… although she kept penning stories for fun while reading the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde and Hemingway (whom she adores even though he was a huge douche canoe). In 2009, her life shifted considerably and she found herself writing Elegantly Wasted- helping her sort out a bunch of stupid feelings and other lame stuff. She enjoys cynical debates, cupcakes, making her mother-in-law sew her aprons that she never wears, zombies, the Fifth Element and Tomb Raider. She gathers her life inspirations from Neil Gaiman, Julia Child and Paul Simon. When she isn’t out photographing her next project, she’s studying color, concept and design or writing stuff down in hopes it makes sense one day… or she’s on Pinterest. Cara lives in Las Vegas with her husband, John and their three genetically altered dogs all of which have personal vendettas for the guy who cleans the pool. Cara on Goodreads                                                            Cara on...

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