Family · Uncategorized

The Unexpected

I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging. Not only have I been focusing on writing, which I am happy to report I’ve finished the second draft (or third draft depending on how you look at it) of my new YA manuscript. It’s off to the beta readers right now, so crossing my fingers for good feedback! I’ve also been focusing on healing and just figuring out what it means to be me again. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, please read my last few entries as I don’t really feel like rehashing everything here.

Long story short, I’ve always grown up with a specific vision of what my life would be like. After the past five years, I’m not sure what that life is going to be anymore. Needless to say, along with grieving, I’ve had to somewhat come to terms with a “third-life” crisis as I like to call it. So, I’ve been focusing on doing all the things I’ve wanted to do, but never allowed myself to do during my TTC (trying to conceive) journey in fear of hurting my chances of becoming pregnant. Truthfully, it’s a bit fun at times, but also scary. As a perpetual planner, what do I do when I don’t know what to do?

Yesterday my mom and I watched the newest movie adaptation of Little Women

 

I’ve always been a fan of the story and LOVED the 1994 version.

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I was curious to see what a modernized take of the classic would be like.

It was cute of course, but there were a lot of one-liners that really resonated with me. One of them had me sobbing in the theater. Think Kim K ugly crying.

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Forgive me if it’s not verbatim, but it was something along the lines of:

“You’re a writer. Don’t you want your [life] story to be unexpected?”

That’s the thing about writing stories, isn’t it? You don’t want your stories to be predictable. The best stories are unexpected–so, why can’t my book of life be the same way?

There is also a scene where Beth mentions how the greatest stories  have some sort of tragedy in them. But these same stories have an abundance of love as well. Needless to say, the past five years have been horrible, but the good thing about them is the outpouring of love I’ve always received.

The reason I love to read and write is because all stories, regardless of what they’re about, have a way to touch their audiences mentally, emotionally and sometimes spiritually. Needless to say, watching the movie yesterday reminded me that life will always have unexpected turns, but my story isn’t over yet.

“We each have our own paths to our castles”

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**Spoiler Alert**

Not that a spoiler alert is needed since the book has been out since 1879 and there have been many movies released since then, but let me say this is the first version where I’m actually happy Jo ended up with Friedrich

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Breaking Promises NOW AVAILABLE!

BREAKING PROMISES by S. Briones Lim
Series: B-boy #1
Cover Designer: REDBIRD DESIGNS
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
Release Date: MAY 31, 2016
— SYNOPSIS —
After a devastating accident, Aurora Crane’s collegiate gymnastics career comes to an abrupt end…
Fighting to piece her life back together, Aurora packs up and transfers to California State to start anew. When she arrives, her focus is on schoolwork and choosing a new career. But to her surprise, destiny has other plans…
Sucked into the world of competitive breakdancing, Aurora comes toe-to-toe with the hottest B-Boy of them all…
An arrogant hothead, Mitch Adachi—or B-Boy Kickwit as he is more commonly known—has life all figured out. He breakdances all day, practicing for upcoming competitions that are sure to challenge his skills—which means he has no time for distractions.
When the new girl steps into the scene, he sees an opportunity he can’t pass up…
Besides finding Aurora devastatingly attractive, he can’t help but notice her skills. He quickly develops high hopes for the ex-gymnast, seeing her as the perfect potential crewmember for the impending high stakes Battle of the Crews competition. All she needs is some fine-tuning.
When the two commit to a business relationship, a different kind of passion kicks into high gear. There’s no denying they groove well together, but there’s a chance mixing high-stakes competition with a fierce romance might lead to…
Breaking Promises.
PURCHASE TODAY! Available on Kindle Unlimited!
— S. BRIONES LIM —
Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a childhood bedtime story to her every single night, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.
Raised in Southern California, Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist. After a Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media she is finally diving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, Lim’s love for reading has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.
Her obsessions include time with family, Cherry Coke, popcorn with jalapeños, watching movies and her dogs, Tobi and Roscoe. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband.
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COVER REVEAL!

BREAKING PROMISES by S. Briones Lim
Series: B-boy #1
Cover Designer: REDBIRD DESIGNS
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING
Release Date: MAY 31, 2016
— SYNOPSIS —
After a devastating accident, Aurora Crane’s collegiate gymnastics career comes to an abrupt end…
Fighting to piece her life back together, Aurora packs up and transfers to California State to start anew. When she arrives, her focus is on schoolwork and choosing a new career. But to her surprise, destiny has other plans…
Sucked into the world of competitive breakdancing, Aurora comes toe-to-toe with the hottest B-Boy of them all…
An arrogant hothead, Mitch Adachi—or B-Boy Kickwit as he is more commonly known—has life all figured out. He breakdances all day, practicing for upcoming competitions that are sure to challenge his skills—which means he has no time for distractions.
When the new girl steps into the scene, he sees an opportunity he can’t pass up…
Besides finding Aurora devastatingly attractive, he can’t help but notice her skills. He quickly develops high hopes for the ex-gymnast, seeing her as the perfect potential crewmember for the impending high stakes Battle of the Crews competition. All she needs is some fine-tuning.
When the two commit to a business relationship, a different kind of passion kicks into high gear. There’s no denying they groove well together, but there’s a chance mixing high-stakes competition with a fierce romance might lead to…
Breaking Promises.
— S. BRIONES LIM —
Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a childhood bedtime story to her every single night, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.
Raised in Southern California, Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist. After a Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media she is finally diving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, Lim’s love for reading has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.
Her obsessions include time with family, Cherry Coke, popcorn with jalapeños, watching movies and her dogs, Tobi and Roscoe. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband.
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August 22, 2008

On days I’ve felt exceptionally down, I like to read my old blog entries to pick myself back up.

Why? Well, because some of my entries were written during a time in my life that I lovingly refer to as my QLC or Quarter Life Crisis. It was during a span of a few years where I felt completely lost and maybe lonely. Reading those entries makes me realize that despite feeling discombobulated during those times, I actually had a pretty great time. Also, it is a great reminder that despite how hard I thought life was back then, I made it out.

Anyhoo, I wanted to share an entry I wrote when I was on the verge of turning 25 and yes, I really have come a long way. Also, please forgive all the grammatical, punctuation and syntax errors, lol.

I’ve always enjoyed writing. I guess it was an inevitable result of my love for reading. For as long as I could write, I authored a few short stories, poems, songs, and novels. I have a blue binder in the back of my closet that store all these- some dating as far back from when I was 8- as well as some paintings and sketches that I had made.

Now almost 2 decades later (Ew, haha) I still continue to write. I have 4 unfinished novels, and yet here I am beginning to write a new one. Sigh. I wish I had someone who would type all my ideas down for me. Do you remember that magic quill and notepad in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? I’d love to have that. It’s not even about the typing that gets tiresome. It’s the fact that I become so engrossed into my characters that I start feeling the the things I want them to feel. If you’ve read any of my stories (and i know i merely summarized a few plots to some of you), you’d know that sometimes it’s not the healthiest way to feel.

So here I am beginning Novel #5. I’ve already gotten the characters lined up and i’m almost done with chapter 1. I really need to find an editor and publisher. I’d love to see my ideas come to life on the big screen some day. I kinda wish I’d finish one of these novels earlier so that I could have started peddling the manuscript around. Who knows if it woulda been in pre-production as a movie now.

On a side note, i have now begun to read Breaking Dawn. It’s bittersweet. I have over 600 pages more to go, but after i finish, then what? I’ve become so engrossed in these novels that they became like a drug to me. It’s like I’m addicted to these books and I just need to keep reading them. At least I have the movie to look forward to. I actually found that widget in the top right corner, randomly on the net.

Well, once I finish Breaking Dawn I guess I can focus on one of my unfinished novels.

 

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Does Feeling Sad Really Heighten Creativity?

 

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Does sadness really equal creativity?

As a Psychology graduate, studies about the link between the two have interested me greatly. Whether due to a cause and effect scenario or basic correlation, there have been many cases of great thinkers and artists who were undoubtedly depressed.

Where do I fit into this scenario?

It comes as no surprise to my friends and family that when writing certain emotional scenes in my books, I often take on the feelings and characteristics of my characters. In such cases my sadness is the direct result of my creativity. Then again, there are other cases when a specifically bad mood may cause me to go on a writing binge (see One and Done) so in that case my mood really did affect my creativity.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, it’s no misnomer that emotions can greatly affect one’s level of creativity. These effects may be for the better or may be for the worst. With me, it’s more of a hit or miss.

It’s true that in exceptionally sad cases I’ve been known to lock myself up and write my heart out. In fact, I’ve come up with many story ideas–most I still have to write–because of this. That being said, sometimes when I am exceptionally depressed there is no budging me. My mind won’t work. I can’t think. All hopes for creativity are thrown out the window.

In late 2013 my husband and I began our journey to start a family. After years of being told that sex=pregnancy, imagine my surprise when I found out that it isn’t always that easy. Month after month flew by and still no bun in the oven in sight. Cut to 2014, I was officially diagnosed with fibroids and endometriosis. We had to put “trying” on hold for a couple months as I prepared, had, and recovered from my laproscopic surgery. If you’re interested, you can read about my experience in my blog: Painting with Robots . Anyway, after going through that particularly difficult time, I felt uplifted and we began to try again.

APRIL 2015

I had my first positive pregnancy test. I was ecstatic! I was over the moon! Then almost as if it were some cruel joke, I lost the pregnancy. Chemical Pregnancy – I hate that term with a passion. Regardless of how early a miscarriage is, it’s still just that–a miscarriage. I know it’s the medical term or what not, but calling it a Chemical Pregnancy just rips the emotion from the loss, doesn’t it? It makes it feel sterile and robotic. Trust me, it’s not. Many, many, tears were shed. Feelings of anger, sadness, worthlessness, despair (I can go on and on) flooded through me. In fact, in my despair, I confused the times of an Author Event, which I NEVER do and missed my time slot! Sadness was definitely not fueling any sort of creativity  for me then…

Now here I am.

January 2016 and still on this painful journey. I’m not saying I’m sad or depressed 24/7 as I have so many blessings to be thankful for, but sometimes the smile on my face is definitely just a mask.

So again, why am I telling you this?

For therapeutic purposes, I suppose…

Also, I wanted to let you know that sometimes writing breaks are completely necessary, but not something I particularly like to take. In fact, after my early miscarriage I took about a month to just compose myself and read. That’s not saying I didn’t have many story ideas fluttering in my head. In fact, despite my deep sadness I’ve manage to accumulate about 6 unfinished manuscripts and finish 4 more by the end of 2015.

All in all, writing is my therapy. Reading is my therapy. Daydreaming, imagining and creating different worlds are my therapy.

Writing takes a lot out of you and despite wanting to take a few breaks, amidst the sadness there is no denying the pull towards it.

Writing is my drug.

So, next time you pick up any book, whether it is full of tears or maybe even laughter, take a minute and imagine what the author may have been feeling at the moment it was written. It may be that those characters were exactly what he or she needed to be pulled out of a funk.

Does sadness heighten creativity? I’m not sure. But creativity definitely helps diminish sadness.

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Let’s Have a (Facebook) Party!

I’m socially awkward, no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. If there is a way to avoid eye contact, public speaking and/or changing out of my pajamas then I am all for it.

Marketing your book is an integral part of this industry. Unfortunately, being a writer can’t be all about hiding behind the safety of your computer—or can it?

Facebook Release Parties are quickly taking the literary world by storm. Along with blog tours, web ads and other social media efforts, these Facebook parties allow writers to become up close and personal with their readers from the privacy of their own computers. In fact, it is due to these types of parties that I’ve been able to attract more readers and also make some awesome new friends—not to mention hit an Amazon Bestseller list for the first time! It’s all about spreading awareness.

So what are these parties? From my experience I’ve encountered two types. The first kind allows you to network with other authors. Takeover events typically take place on the day of the Host’s book release and can span a few hours. Different authors sign on to takeover an allotted period of time (usually an hour) in which they do everything from playing games, giveaways, sharing teasers & excerpts, and most importantly connecting with current or soon-to-be readers! The beauty of these types of parties is that fans of different authors will typically stick around for the duration of the party allowing them to be exposed to new writers including you! On any given day or week there is a Takeover Event going on and it is pretty easy to find hosts searching for authors to volunteer their time. Just join any of the Book themed Facebook groups and I can guarantee you will stumble across a pending party.

The second type of party I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing puts YOU in the spotlight! These Release Day Parties differ in length depending on your preference and also requires a lot of backbone. It is quite similar to the party I mentioned above but there are no other authors to share your time with—this party is all about you, baby. So send those invites out and ask your friends, family and readers to help spread the word. You wouldn’t want to go to your own party alone, right? If you rather not coordinate the party yourself, feel free to Google Book PR Companies online. Many of these companies offer Release Day parties as part of their services.

Partying isn’t just for extroverts anymore. Facebook parties allow introverts (like me) to not only spread awareness of their work but to also get to know many people from around the world, all from the comfort of your living room.

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TWO OUTTA THREE Excerpt

Two Outta Three jacket

The old-fashioned bells my dad refused to take off the front doors rung as the glass door opened. Seeing as we weren’t due to open for another thirty minutes, I could only guess who had walked into the door. My beating heart certainly knew.

“Mr. Rossi?” The familiar voice was like a melody. It reminded me of an old favorite song that you hadn’t heard in years, but were still able to recite line by line with ease. Despite the years of silence, I still knew that voice so well.

“Over here, Jesse.”

My palms instantly moistened. Taking a deep breath, I wiped them against my faded jeans, unsure of what to do with myself. Trying to appear calm, I leaned my forearm against the counter and shifted my weight so my hip was sticking out. Realizing how stupid I looked, I straightened myself and crossed my arms over my chest.

“What the hell am I doing? Am I drill sergeant?” I shook my head, reminding myself he was just an old friend. Granted, a best friend I used to love, but still. Finally relaxing into a somewhat decent pose, I looked up in time to see him round the corner towards us.
He instantly took my breath away.

It had been five years since I had last seen him. Having always been the conspiracy theory type, he never even owned an online profile and believe me, I looked! For the last five years I had relied solely on my memory whenever I thought about him. In my mind, the name Jesse conjured up images of a handsome boy—tall, skinny, with a flop of messy dark hair. The man standing in front of me was not the Jesse I recalled. He was much, much better.