New Poem in Absolute Destiny Post-Apocalypse: An Utena Future Zine

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Revolutionary Girl Utena leaves an impression that is simultaneously gutting and hopeful. Whether the ending is tragic or redemptive is, in some ways, left to the audience. Now, a portion of that audience has banded together to contribute art and writing to Absolute Destiny Post-Apocalypse: An Utena Future Zine.

Guess whose poetry closes out this zine full of beautiful art and writing? Mine!

You can download the zine for free here and read my poem, “Roses, Post-Apocalypse,” which I also shared on Tumblr along with a special “prequel” poem!

And if you like angsty, hopeful, sapphic love poetry, be sure to check out my new poetry collection Lest I Know Your Weakness.

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FDAD: A Multi-world Fantasy WIP update 1

If you follow me on Twitter, you might’ve seen me answering writing questions about my WIP and attempting to find gifs that summarize my characters for those get-to-know-you threads that people create.

Well, this WIP’s codename FDAD. I will not tell you what it stands for. It’s a multiverse and, in many ways, my love letter to anime. It’s full of queer women and while there are plenty of intense moments, I do lean into the silliness of the concept from time to time. Because a portal fantasy is silly.

This story has been with me for 10 years now and for many of those years it simmered on the back burner. It began as a silly concept that I just wrote on the fly based on vague writing prompts (write a fantasy story; write a mystery story, etc.) and it definitely became that huge project that you throw every cool idea ever into. The thing was massive and had no clear ending.

Over time, I figured out main plot points, had dozens of starts and stops, and a few long drafts where I got far (kinda) only to realize that there was too much wrong that I had to fix. And according to the original scope I had, I’d barely made a dent in the entire epic story I wanted to tell.

Listen, every SFF writer has one of these concepts. Your epic baby. Your personal Wheel of Time or Song of Ice and Fire. That’s what FDAD became for me and in many ways, it still is. But I had to put it down for a few years because I knew I just wasn’t a good enough writer at the time to pull it off in the way I felt it deserved.

Then, around fall of 2017, I suddenly started thinking about this project again. Next thing I knew, I’d made myself a Google doc where I streamlined the story into three books and sketched out clear plot/character arcs. I had other projects I wanted to focus on at the time, so I kept it at this word vomit planning stage.

At the start of 2018, I wasn’t in the best place mentally and the projects I’d been working on were pretty sad. I needed something lighter–something that, as Marie Kondo has taught us–sparked joy. That was FDAD. Among all the big projects in my head and on my computer, FDAD has the most playfulness to it and that’s what I needed.

Since then, book 1 of this story has been my WIP. Narratively, I’ve just hit a major turning point–I’m thinking of it as the true half-way mark, but I have only about two major arcs until the end, so I might be beyond half-way.

As of the end of February, this is my word count:

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86k isn’t my final word count, but I set the word count calculator up on Scrivener so that I have a daily target of 500 words a day for each month. In theory, that’s 15,500 words per month, but of course there are days I miss completely and days where my word count is lower, just as there are days when my word count well exceeds 500.

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This is my log for January. It’s sparser because I had a lot going on that month like prepping for Lest I Know Your Weakness to launch. However, at this rate, I will definitely have a completed draft in 2019 and that excites me. After all this time, I finally feel like I’m executing this story the way I see it in my head. Yes, there are SO MANY things I’ve discovery written and will have to retcon in revisions, but I have a good balance between following the big plan and letting the smaller stuff come as it will.

It definitely helps that I have a book/series guide as a living Google doc that I update as things come to me. It has organized sections for worlds, characters, magic systems, histories, outlines, etc. I even have a running list of potential comp titles. I also am much better at giving myself permission to keep moving forward when I discover something about a character or piece of history that I hadn’t accounted for previously. I write from that point on as if that piece of information were true the whole time, knowing that I’ll get the chance to build it in correctly during revisions.

Anyway, I’ll probably post an update at least once a month. Hopefully, you find them interesting and insightful.

Cheers!

Lest I Know Your Weakness is Out Today!

Hello, friends!

Today, Lest I Know Your Weakness is officially out in the world!

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Step into a Gothic, Victorian vampire romance reimagined through erasure poetry. Laura and Carmilla explore both the darkest and the most hopeful depths of their relationship. Will their fears overwhelm them? Or will they persevere in mutual vulnerability?

I’m so excited for this release and I hope you are, too. Pick up your ebook or paperback from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MGFDZ1L

Amazon paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578435993

B&N paperback: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lest-i-know-your-weakness-taylor-ramage/1130202500?ean=9780578435992

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lest-i-know-your-weakness-taylor-ramage/1130202500?ean=2940161501207

Be sure to add the book on Goodreads and leave a review when you’re finished.

Like podcasts? I just appeared on Friday I’m in Love, Monday I Post Podcasts. Hear me talk about my new book and gush about Carmilla, then stay tuned to the end to listen to me read a piece from the collection.

As always, thanks to all of you for your support!

Cheers

Bullet Journaling: My Lazy Solution to Task Management

Around Christmas, my bubble of writer Twitter started buzzing with people talking about making 2019 bullet journals. I saw threads full of beautifully decorated notebooks, sticky notes, colors, and all sorts of other organizational tools.

All of which I viscerally hate.

Okay, hate is a strong word, but organizing with tabs, highlighters, labels–all that stuff has just never stuck with me. I’d tried in school, beginning the year strong with notebooks and binders neatly organized, but it only took a few weeks for those to be haphazardly stuffed with papers in any random order. With binders in particular, I chalk that up to a combination between my left-handedness and laziness.

Now as an adult, I do at least have folders for my most important papers. They’re not very organized and a few are quite overstuffed, but they exist. Note charts, idea webs, and basically any graphic organizer ever? No, thank you. I was forced to use them in school, but now? Tables and lists are about as far as I go.

So, the little I saw of bullet journaling did two things: First, it convinced me that it was an artistic organizing thing that those really crafty girls with bubble handwriting do. Second, it confused me.

Yet in 2018, I did start writing things down more: daily tasks, grocery lists, thoughts about books I’d read, writing ideas/scenes, seminar/panel notes, and, most frequently, workout logs.

All of these I kept in separate notebooks. I also keep a daily word count calendar in Google docs along with other brainstorming documents. So, you can see that I had a lot of moving pieces in a lot of places. This didn’t bother me much at all.

Then, over the holidays, I watched a megsquats video where she mentioned keeping food logs and workout logs in a bullet journal. What? But all the writers were using the same thing for writing. How could that same thing work for logging and writing stuff?

Now thoroughly intrigued, I read up on bullet journaling and…became more confused. It sounded like, if I figured it out the right way, I could use a bullet journal to keep track of everything I wanted to in one place: word counts, household tasks, events, appointments, workout logs, groceries–anything.

But the setup seemed complicated until I grabbed a blank journal I’ve had for years and walked myself through it.

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Reader, I married bullet journaling.

Kidding. The change in my life is not exactly earth-shattering, but it sure is helping me get things done. No, my bullet journal is not full of pretty colors or stickers. Right now, it’s strictly rapid logging with daily tasks and other regular lists I keep. Sprinkled here and there are a few writing notes, writing sketches, and thoughts on movies. I’ve made collections in my index for different writing projects, health tracking, and seminar notes. I’ve got my events for the next six months marked as well as events/appointments for this month. My daily pages are just large enough to list that day’s tasks, events, word count, and other short notes while my workout logs and grocery lists take up a page each.

Sounds confusing without looking at it, right? But that’s what bullet journaling is. It makes tons more sense once you set one up yourself and figure out not only what you want to keep track of, but how. Aside from the basic setup of an index, a future log, a monthly log, and daily pages, you can make a bullet journal be whatever you need it to be.

Personally, I don’t use mine for a lot of writing planning, but I have jotted down quick notes which I then transfer to my massive Google doc where I keep all my world building, character notes, and plot notes. The best part about bullet journaling is that I can keep all these different types of things I write down in one place, which actually makes me better at writing down daily tasks, appointments, and events. Because all of it is in a single book, that book is important for me to have around and to keep track of, unlike a separate reading thoughts notebook or a separate to-do list notepad. All of this stuff that seems unrelated can just exist together and it’s organized in a way that makes sense for me.

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I am too lazy to keep track of a notepad for grocery lists/tasks and three different notebooks for everything else. Bullet journaling, thankfully, isn’t asking me to color code or make tabs or any of that stuff unless I want to (and I don’t).

With a new book coming out soon, another book I’m trying to finish, workout routines to keep up with, household tasks and projects to complete, and social and church events, I have so much more to track than I thought until I started bullet journaling. I used to keep most of it in my head or occasionally use the calendar app on my phone, but now I’ve got an organic method for keeping it all together.

Organizing like this will become more vital as my writing career develops. All the launch prep and promotion I’m doing for Lest I Know Your Weakness came together from small, daily tasks. One day, I might find myself needing to manage drafting one project, editing another, promoting a third, and plotting a fourth, each with their own deadlines. That on top of my other life stuff would just be too much to keep in my head.

I’m only a few weeks into bullet journaling, but so far I’m loving the simplicity and the flexibility. One notebook for everything I want to write down? Perfect.


Like poetry? Like Carmilla? Pre-order my new poetry collection Lest I Know Your Weakness today!

A twisted love story told in alternating poetic snapshots.

Intrigue, tension, darkness, beauty–Carmilla and Laura experience it all as they traverse the ups and downs of their relationship through poetic dialogue. Love is alluring and terrifying.

Kindle: amazon.com/dp/B07MGFDZ1L

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lest-i-know-your-weakness-taylor-ramage/1130202500?ean=2940161501207

Paperback: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lest-i-know-your-weakness-taylor-ramage/1130202500?ean=9780578435992

Lest I Know Your Weakness Pre-Order Links

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Pre-order links are now live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Wanna wake up on 2/12 with some wlw poetry in your hand or on your ereader? Now, you can make that happen.

Amazon (ebook): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MGFDZ1L

Barnes & Noble (ebook): https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lest-i-know-your-weakness-taylor-ramage/1130202500?ean=2940161501207

Barnes & Noble (paperback): https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lest-i-know-your-weakness-taylor-ramage/1130202500?ean=9780578435992

Paperbacks will be also available on Amazon on 2/12/19, but for now you can order your hard copies from B&N.

Cheers!

New Poetry Collection: Lest I Know Your Weakness

Ah yes, time to finally share with you all one of the reasons I’ve been so quiet on this blog! But first, some quick links.

Facebook Page

I’m on Facebook! Like my page there for book updates, sketches, and more blackout poetry (including extras from Forgive Us Our Trespasses).

Goodreads

Follow me on Goodreads and remember to leave a review. Ask me questions there about my writing!

Alright, now with that out of the way, time for The Big News™.

A picture says a thousand words, so…

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I’m pleased to announce that my new poetry collection, Lest I Know Your Weakness, comes out on 2/12/19! You’ll be able to get an ebook or paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

A twisted love story told in alternating poetic snapshots.

Intrigue, tension, darkness, beauty–Carmilla and Laura experience it all as they traverse the ups and downs of their relationship through poetic dialogue. Love is alluring and terrifying.

Yes, I took the text of the Carmilla novella (published in 1872) and made a bunch of erasure poems. The result? An experience that made one beta reader want to cry in a good way and gave another the sensation of peering through a keyhole at two tumultuous yet beautiful lives.

No need to be a fan of the web series or have read the original book to enjoy my collection. Either or may give you some different context as you read the poems, but this stands as its own work.

I’ll also be guest starring on Friday, I’m in Love; Monday, I Post Podcasts later in February where I’ll talk more about my work, so stay tuned for that!

So, that’s all of my news! Thanks for sticking with me!

From 2018 to 2019

I can hardly believe that I’ve had this blog for almost 10 years. Naturally, I’ve grown and changed a lot in that time and, as you might infer from my long hiatus, I’ve been focusing on changes in other aspects of my life. Simply put, I just don’t have the time or energy anymore to write those long pop culture analysis pieces that I used to post here pretty regularly. I have a few drafts sitting in my folder, but I look at them and think “Who really cares? Why am I spending my time on this instead of my fiction, which is where I want to take my career anyway?” Between that, my day job, maintaining a healthy, active life style, and life in general, my creative energy simply must go into my fiction.

I’m proud of the articles I’ve written over the years, even the cringey ones from early on. I won’t delete them, but I’ve closed comments on them. I greatly appreciate those of you who have said kind words about my thoughts, given me new angles to think of, and even took the time to send me a nice email with your compliments or a description of how my work has impacted you. It means a great deal to me to know that something I wrote had a positive impact on someone’s life. Nonfiction to me was always a platform-building tool–a way to simply get work out there and make connections.

But I’m ready to use this space more consistently to focus on my own creative output and works that directly inspire that output. I may post WIP updates or reflect on different writing techniques I’m trying or works I come across that in some way speak to my own work. I’m not entirely sure. Most certainly, I’ll be using this space for updates about upcoming published work (keep an eye out ;D).

This isn’t to say I’ll never return to the sort of nonfiction analysis that largely populates this blog. If something intrigues me so much that I feel the need to pick it apart with words, I’ll absolutely do so! In fact, I have an idea for such a post brewing now. But I can no longer attempt to do that with every piece of media I consume and I do want to connect those writings more with how they inspire me or relate to my creativity. So I need a bit of closure between my old posts here and new posts to come. As I said before, my old work isn’t going anywhere, but my way forward is a different direction.

Thanks to all of you that have followed me over the years and enjoyed my writing thus far. Your support means a lot to me and I hope you’ll stick with me as I open up more about who I am as an artist.

Happy 2019!