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  • Writer's pictureJenna O'Malley

Reflective Ripples: So Many Things and Thankful for Them

Welcome to Reflective Ripples, where we glance into debatable topics about the creative world. Today, I'm more reflecting than debating, to be sure.

The adage about how reading and writing influence one another is a little too true. I’ve been teaching essay writing for the better part of a decade as an English teacher. Big shocker, right? The Lady Nerd, The Soul Writer. She’s a teacher. OMG, right?!

Anyway, I’ve been having this conversation a lot with my students lately. When we talk about literary analysis, we have certain tools to help us dissect non-fiction and fiction alike. They go by all kinds of strange names, and I’m certain most adults know a fraction of them. Freytag’s Pyramid, also known as the ALMIGHTY PLOT MAP. TPCASTT. RACE and CARS, and totally not related to one another. Lord knows how many more acronyms exist. Then there’s those dang rhetorical devices.

I keep telling my students: don’t hesitate to use these tools as a writer. Do we really, though? I’ve used Freytag a time or two for continuity checks on beta reading, but it’s been ages since I’ve sat down to do one on my own books. What kind of value would there be in doing this? Would my writing improve? What weaknesses might I find? Thoughts?

In other news, I’ve a lot going on for Thanksgiving Week here in the USA. We’re having dinner with another indie writer in the family, my husband’s maternal grandmother. She produces her own books: short story retellings of her life. I love how her voice on paper captures the West Virginia and Pennsylvania blends of what makes her Mawmine to us.

The husband’s been super duper busy since our oven was fixed in time for the holidays. @Codythecheesecakeman does made-to-order cheesecakes for holiday parties. This week’s orders included pumpkin swirl, almond joy, and I think an Oreo? He has a few more to make by the end of the week. He’s also delivering for my publisher, and he’s making it like waking up to Christmas at everyone’s front door with forced overtime. I am super thankful for him. We had a rough year, darling, and I am thrilled we’re making it a day a time together: hand in hand.

Many of you know about us losing our Angel. I’m thankful I was pregnant, even if just for a handful or so of weeks. It’s forcing me to really look at the toxic patterns to my own life and take care of me in ways I didn’t in the past.

HUGE THANK YOU to Katherine Black and Jeremy Green for being my creative masterminds. I wouldn’t keep going if you two didn’t think it was worth your own time investments. Katherine’s videographer over at @bestbookeditors / is making the first of two videos for VITAELANGICA (Book 1): The Crusaders of Lukzander Shoals. It’s from Andi’s POV, and the second will feature Mitch. As soon as those two are done, Jeremy Green’s going to be finished the character sketch for FREY from The Arsinoëphorus Alliance. This is after he drew a memorial tattoo for Angel, which I can’t wait to have inked. After we talked about our next commission, we agreed: the process for Book 2: Bound by Oath and Heart’s cover was epic. Jeremy did Rochelle’s character sketch around this time last year or so, and then he did her again on Book 2’s cover. As soon as the character sketch is done, Frey and Lee go over to visit Auntie Katherine’s videographer for a third book trailer! Super thank both of you for all you’re doing! We all love you so much, the Alliance and the Crusaders included.

Speaking of everyone’s FAVORITE couple from the Alliance—no, I don’t mean Nephtyri and Ian. Our beloved French vampire and his Kitten, Frey and Lee, are seeing a release date pushback. Originally, I slated the release for April 2022. Considering my recent surgery and the mental health ick I’ve been facing in over time since, I thought it was best to give myself time to do a few things. One, I really needed to focus on me and heal. Two, I have a lot going on in the background, and not just what is mentioned above. My husband and I have been trying to move for over a year, and each attempt falls through. Additionally, I want to learn more about how to market my book and more. Then there is that YouTube/Authortube thing I do, and I am extremely behind because of Angel and teaching zapping my soul. Am I still writing? Yes! I hope to take this time for finishing the following books to release next year:

June 1, 2022

The Arsinoëphorus Alliance (Book 3): Bound by Vengeance and Mind

Couple(s): Frey x Lee, Nephtyri x Ian

August 2022

VITAELANGICA (Book 1): The Crusaders of Lukzander Shoals

Couple(s): Mitch x Andi

Black Friday 2022

The Arsinoëphorus Alliance (Book 4): Bound by WAIT FOR BOOK 3 TO FIND OUT

OFFICIALLY *gasp* Couple(s): Vouvry x Maria, Nephtyri x Ian

New Year’s Eve 2022

Soul Teacher: Struggles of an English Teacher with PTSD, Bipolar, and Anxiety (A Memoir)

How am I going to manage it? Considering I’ve started each of the books already, I think it is totally possible. In Spring 2023, we’ll see the close to the first half of The Arsinoëphorus Alliance with Book 5 along with the sequel to The Crusaders of Lukzander Shoals for VITAELANGICA. I hope to also release two MORE spin-offs from the Alliance. Yeah, didn’t you know: VITAELANGICA is a spin-off? Want to know why?

I guess I better not spoil Book SIX of the Alliance any time soon. ^_^ I have so much inspiration between these two series, and I can’t believe the Alliance is the heart of my creative world. I can’t believe how it’s sprawled. So, very much THANK YOU to everyone who has supported my journey so far. I hope it’s been worth the ride. I know it has been for me.

Take care of yourself! You are worth it.


Soul Writer

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