10:29 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

Do you ever get a sense of "knowing", deep in your soul that something is right? I mean an unshakable peace and surety that settles something in your mind, body, and spirit like a jigsaw puzzle finding its place.

Very, very rarely do I find this peace.

The first time I picked up a pen to actually plot out a novel (I had been pantsing up until that point because I thought that's what writers did), something clicked. Like "this is the way for me."

The first time I walked through the city of Boston I felt a deep sense of home and permanence. As if a long-forgotten, yet familiar voice whispered in my ear "Welcome home."

I've had a few more of these moments. Times in my life where there it's perfect calm and every fiber in my body says "Yes!" Every single time, this knowing has enriched my life, fulfilled some need that I may not have realized existed.

In the past it's been relatively easy to obtain the things I've known, or at least plot out a path to get to it. I'm moving to Massachusetts in July. Not to Boston--that's a little out of my reach for now--but I have a three-year plan that will get me where I want to go.

But there are other "knowings" that elude me. I can't describe the gut-wrenching fear that comes with wanting something so bad and knowing that it could be amazing...but having it out of reach. Something you can't plan for, can't affect. Something you realize you could pour everything you have to offer into...and still end up empty.

I've done that before. I'm sure I'm not the only person out there who has spent time pursuing a lost cause. Who has spent months and years trying to figure out how to be "good enough" in a situation where your best will never cut it.

I don't know if this is the same. I'd like to think that I'm older and wiser and wouldn't make the same mistake, but I'm not sure that's true.

What I do know is that nothing worth having is easy. Much like with writing, you have to be willing to put yourself out there If you want to get anything back. And yeah, it's scary. Rejection sucks. Not getting what you want sucks.

But you have to try.

No risk, no reward.



6:41 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I wonder if the people who hurt us ever really have to suffer any consequences for the pain they cause. Do they get to go their entire lives without feeling the weight of the heartache they cause or the eyes they cloud with tears?  Maybe it's a little morose to say so, but I'm starting to think they don't. That some people can see something vulnerable, alone, and scared....and just crush it without ever looking back.

That's definitely food for thought. Maybe it's a question I can work out on the pages.


Rambling about books

7:22 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

   So...I have a bit of a confession to make. Despite considering myself an "avid reader," I am not a big fan of the "classics". Oh, there are some gems out there. Homer is my home boy. Yes, I did just write that. I'm not even going to delete it. Fitzgerald is also good.

   However, despite being a romance junkie, I can't stand anything Jane Austen. I can barely handle the movie remakes of her stories. In addition, I hate Shakespeare like you would not believe. Really, it's a deep-seated, horrible loathing that even know is making my palms sweaty. Dickens makes me want to blow my brains out. With a spoon. Don't ask, I would make it work.

   While I was in school my teachers would get all kinds of excited when it was time to go over one of the "great classics." Surely the bookish, awkward girl who always had her nose buried between pages would finally be engaged in class now that we were reading something thick and dusty! No. Absolutely not. I slogged through Great Expectations as if I were wading through quicksand. I never finished One Hundred Years of Solitude. Couldn't do it. Though I did get an A on the 3-ring binder report we had to come up with for it. Go, go, pulling it out of my ass.

   Poetry is excluded from this disinterest, but that is a different story.

   ....this blog post was originally titled "Time machine." I was only going to make a quick reference to the book but I got sidetracked. So now you guys get to know that. Enjoy.


6:00 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

    Goals for today:

  • Do Day 2 of my abs/squat Challenge.
  • Write for at least 2 hours or 5k words, whichever comes first.
  • Figure out how to put my D&D character on my phone (hardcore level 15 Wizard, y'all)!
  • ...make French fries. Don't judge me, I can eat what I want!
  • Also, eat nothing that I'm allergic to...we'll see how that one goes. I'm allergic to everything.


Goals for the day!

2:26 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

  Getting back into the swing of things once you've been out of the game is challenging. In light of all the changes my life has taken in the last couple of months, I haven't been keeping up with my physical and professional goals. In fact, I haven't written more than 100 words since I moved to Akron.

  This is, naturally, woefully unacceptable. I need to get myself back in gear! So, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Today is actually almost I think what I'm going to do is schedule these blog posts the day before, so I can compare them after it's all said and done.

   My goals for the day are pretty simple:
  • Do Day 1 of the horrible ab/squat challenge I've decided to kill myself with.
  • Email at least one of the agents I'm looking at.
  • Write for at least an hour.
    Easy peasy, right? ...well, I've only crossed off one thing on that list thus far, but dagnabit, I'm getting them all in. Yeees. I'm going to write my post for tomorrow and get to work on those crunches. My abs are already burning.


I can't sleep, so my mind wanders.

9:48 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I am now convinced that closure is a lie. A pretty fabrication created by authors and TV shows to make us, the viewers, comfortable enough with the seemingly short-lived directions our favorite characters go in. I don't think you get over heartache and disappointment. At least not in the way we're led to believe.

I think those pains attach themselves to us. They become a part of who we are. And if we're a little less trusting and a little more fragile because of those attachmen....well, perhaps that hurt and despair is just the stretch marks of our psyches. They fade, they make us sad when we look too closely...but they're there to stay.


Something Deeper.

1:19 AM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

I've always been a workaholic and an overachiever. It was something my dad playfully teased me about in middle school, just as it's something my husband playfully teases me about now.

I'm used to working 80 hours a week.  Pouring over projects and novels until a step above perfect. Until they're impossible. That's who I am. I am very much defined by the work I do and the efforts I put in.

However, lately I have found that there is another kind of stress that comes from work. Something I have never encountered. It's the stress of doubt. Of being unsure that what you're working to build up is something that...deserves your dedication. It's the kind of doubt that sits in your stomach and forms into a bubbling, churning vomit. That makes itself known in headaches and sleepwalking.

A sickness of soul.

That's exactly it. A disappointment that goes so deep it's a jagged knife, sinking into skin, cracking your bones--scraping away the marrow. I've always taken little bits of myself and stored it in my work. Was always proud to take those projects and the environment created by those projects and wrap them up inside of me. I absorbed life-lessons, knowledge, and fundamental concepts from these exchanges.

And now I feel as if the bits and pieces I'm taking back into myself are eating away my love for things I've always haf. Always needed. Unstable and deceptive. Malicious. Detrimental and blind.



Realistic Goals.

3:04 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

  This Deviantion is fantastic. Finding harmony in art.

Last year I set the goal to have ten books published by December. I think I was doing pretty well. I was right on track to make that goal, when I ended up going back to work full-time. Now I'm faced with the challenge of being someone who was writing full-time, but now has to figure out how to balance a much busier schedule.

Before I even started to apply for the job that I ended up getting, I was very much aware of how my writing would be impacted. I thought it would be simple to distribute the hours in a day evenly. Naturally, that didn't work out. I'd forgotten that being part of a workforce is more than just the time you spend in the office. It's the way it affects your mind and energy levels even after you have clocked out.

Of course, most people know this already. it's not something that they needed to learn or relearn. However, in my case, even when I was working I was very much removed from that level of stress. Most of the jobs that I've taken in my adult life have been freelance or in some way flex-schedule. At the time, this was necessary, as a set schedule wasn't realistic given my illnesses.

Now that that is no longer a concern, I am having a hard time realistically balancing what I think I should be doing, and what I actually have time to be doing. I've always been a bit of a workaholic, but it's only recently that I've seen the kind of damage I could do to myself if I fall into the wrong patterns. When I was sixteen, skipping meals and sleep in order to get a deadline met wasn't a big deal. But I'm not sixteen anymore, and it's never been more apparent than it is at 2:30 in the afternoon when I'm struggling to stay awake at my desk because I stayed up late the night before.

This year I plan to set goals as well. Both professional goals and personal ones. I want to work on my social networking, spend more time at reader and writer conventions, and (of course) get writing done. Because of the company I work for, some of the series I have out will need to be put on the back burner until they are no longer under contract. This makes me sad, but I'm grateful that none of these books are ones that will leaving the readers hanging. Instead of worrying about what I can't do, I will focus on what I have control over.

I hope to have at least two series with two installments each done by December. That's only four books. In addition, I hope to re-release Light Can Be Gentle, which will be out of contract in February. I also want to get the second installment of that series finished, which puts me at six books. Naturally, as an over achiever, I am still shooting for ten. But if I do manage to publish six works by the end of the year, I vow to be happy with my wins, rather than focusing on my failures.

And that's what I should do.

If you want to see more from this artist, you can find them here:

deeJuusan (Diana Abbadi). Peaceful Self. 2010. DeviantArt, Unknown. Web. 21 Jan 2014. <>.