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Danielle Miceli

🎃 October 31st, 2019 🎃
👻 Happy Halloween! 👻


What’s New?

October was an exhausting month for me. My husband, who manages his team at work, was offered an amazing opportunity to become a manager of managers on a new team. We’re extremely excited about it, but unfortunately, the switch required pulling late nights at the office nearly all month while he rushed to hand off responsibilities on his old team. In addition, he gave up his work from home Wednesdays, which were honestly a lifeline for me. Not having that mid-week reprieve really took a toll on my productivity, and my sanity, but it was worth it to set Nick up to start his new team in January. Especially because...
  1. Paternity Leave Part 2: Starting today, Nick will be home for the rest of 2019. I cannot express what a difference this will make, not just for my productivity, but for my emotional stability. I’ve made no secret of the rough road I’ve been walking since August, and having Nick at home, not only to help with Caleb, but to keep all three of us together throughout a holiday season that will be a bit difficult to means everything. I may have thought we were crazy for cutting his paternity leave in half back at the beginning of the year, but I have a feeling it will have been worth the wait.

    And now, next Saturday, we’re taking baby Caleb on a plane for the first time to spend a week in the Bahamas 😱. Thankfully, my in-laws are coming with us, but I’m still so nervous that it’s going to end up far more stressful than relaxing. I’ll be accepting all and any positive energy (or advice!) you’re willing to send my family’s way as we try to cope with our first ever long distance baby trip. 😬

Writing Update

This October, my writing life has sort of mirrored my personal life. I’ve been able to do much more work than I thought I could...for other people. I’m caught up on everything my lovely critique partners have sent me, and even finished one of their novels (which I’ll gush about later 😍). I’ve kept on top of the #FantasyQueensFall flash fiction competition, scoring entries as they come in. I even critiqued a few peers’ short stories for the Project Winter Solstice anthology. But, while I did draft my own PWS tale, I made absolutely no progress on my book. Thus, I don’t have my usual "novel status report" to share with you...because there’s nothing to report. 

  1. November Novel Goals: I am genuinely happy to have worked on so many different projects and assisted some wonderful authors this month. 💕 But in November, I need to shift the balance a bit. With Nick home on paternity leave, I want to take full advantage of my greatly increased day-to-day free time to finally finish this round of self edits for my book. 

    I’m at the point where my motivation is waning. No one besides my husband has made it past the halfway point of my novel yet, and while feedback on the early sections has been, honestly, more positive than my heart ever would have dared to imagine, I find myself worrying all the more that the middle sections will slog, or the plot will grow too convoluted, or that the ending will disappoint. Will people be excited to read the sequel, or frustrated that they wasted so many hours of their lives in my world? I honestly have no idea.

    I think I need to get this manuscript out to beta readers. I need to answer these questions, so I can fix what must be fixed, and allow myself some confidence for what’s already working. 

    Editing 25 chapters (what I have left) in one month might not seem like a huge goal for a normal person, but I edit about as slow as I write.
    🐢 I’d need to review about one chapter a day, and I just don’t know if I can. But you know what? Lots of writers will be channeling the NaNoWriMo spirit next month. It would have been impossible for me to do this without my husband home, but with his help, perhaps editing a chapter each day can be my own personal NaNo goal.

    I’m going to try; I have to try.

  2. Short Story Struggles: In case you’re new here (hi! 🙃), early this year, I was asked to contribute a short story alongside 11 other fantastic Instagram writers to a collection currently known as Project Winter Solstice. I’ll be personifying the month of September, writing an Iceland-inspired tale about a siren that she tells the other months at their yearly winter solstice gathering.

    The only problem? I hate writing short stories. In fact, I hate them so much, I haven’t written one since I was 17, despite the fact that I majored in creative writing at my university. Guess what the final project of every single fiction workshop I took was supposed to be? A short story. But every time, I begged the professors to instead let me submit the first chapter of a novel. All of them said yes. And thus, I made it through my entire college career without having to write a single short story. 😅

    I write adult epic fantasy, which, word count wise, is on the total opposite end of the spectrum. I want to take all the space and time I need to fully develop my world. For me, personally, it’s exceedingly difficult to invest in characters I know I’ll only spend time with for less than 20 pages. And I can’t write about characters I’m not attached to.

    The only way I was able to wrap my head around this project was by breaking from my normal M.O. and starting with an idea, instead of a world. Plot is typically the last part of my stories to come together, but in this case, my plot led me to build the world in which this plot made sense, and only then did I populate it with characters. It felt so entirely backwards. I don’t think I would personally ever approach a book like this, but it did help trick my mind into tackling a much shorter work.

    If you’re ever in a situation where you have to write out of your comfort zone, I recommend you go all in. Don’t assume your usual way of doing things will pan out. Break all your own rules. As long as you’re already shaking things up, shake everything up. For me, at least, it made the experience a little less stressful, because I wasn’t fighting myself the whole way. There was no semblance of my typical order to cling to. It forced me to embrace the different scenario and make it work.

    And, for all my whining, I'm actually pleased with the story I came up with. I have absolutely no idea what other people will think of it, or if it’s any good, but against all odds, I like it. That has to count for something, right? 🤞

October Reads

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know what my big reading accomplishment was this month. I finished my critique partner Lina C. Amarego’s Daughter of the Deep. It is, hands down, one of the best novels I’ve read by a peer. Not just within the Instagram and Twitter communities, but also measured against the many stories I’ve critiqued from aspiring authors while pursuing my college degree.

What sets DotD so far apart is Lina’s ability to characterize in a single sentence. She manages quite a large cast, but every time a new character is introduced, you know them down to their bones. Personality radiates from their every scent and movement. I was left with such strong, distinct impressions of even the most minor characters. No one blurs together or is forgettable. Lina’s background in psychology is evident; she truly gets to the marrow of each character, and she makes it look easy. I cannot wait to write a full review once this book is published. 

I know Lina and I will continue to work closely together as she finishes my novel and I gear up to read more of hers, but this first milestone of our partnership will always have an incredibly special place in my heart. Thank you, Lina, for letting me be a part of Keira’s adventure, and of your story as an author. 🥰


Thank you for all of your constant love and support. Now that I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like walking this crazy road with friends, I never want to do it alone again. I hope you have the best Halloween (enjoy the sneak peek of Caleb's first costume below ). And good luck to everyone who entered the #FantasyQueensFall flash fiction competition! 


Caleb tax:
Caleb Potter
Caleb's First Halloween
Caleb in bath with ducky


Upcoming fantasy author, new mom, D&D addict, Gemini, Slytherclaw, lover of raw dough, wants to be your friend. 💕

Copyright © 2019 Danielle Miceli, All rights reserved.

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