Archive | December, 2012

Writer’s Brain

28 Dec

Everyone who has any experience in the matter knows about Mommy Brain, that forgetful, absent-minded state many expectant mothers experience.  This is, I believe, caused by her natural pre-occupation with the little person she is carrying; thinking about every little thing she eats, making sure she’s not sitting beside the guy who’s smoking in the park, concerned that she’s getting too much, or not enough exercise, when her next check-up is, how many weeks along she is as of this nanosecond.

I have been experiencing Writer’s Brain.  It is very similar to Mommy Brain.  How are the characters developing, how long before the first draft will be completed, where in the story am I, are things going too fast, or dragging on too slowly, will the readers like it, what will I name it?  So many questions, so few answers.

How do I know I have Writer’s Brain?  Well, I attempted to attend a meeting that had been cancelled.  I had been in the room, apparently, when the topic of not having a meeting the same week as Christmas was discussed, but it’s not in my notes.

I have been dreaming about different ways the story-line could twist around, even though it’s been plotted out already.

I have been dazing out in the middle of conversations because my mind has wandered into the other room and has begun going back over the list of possible names for the hero/love interest.

I don’t want to go anywhere for too long, because although I have been only writing in fits and starts, something might occur to me, and I don’t want to have to write out several paragraphs in the middle of a shopping expedition, again.

All I want to talk about is what her motivation is, how she’s plotting things out, where to weave in the new character, and do I really want to end the book like that?

It’s exhausting.  The annoying thing is knowing that it only gets more difficult from here.  Coming up with the idea is the easy part.  Sticking with it, writing out the rough first draft, refining it a couple of times before showing it to anyone, waiting while they read it through (two weeks never felt so long!), then accepting their critique (without bawling your eyes out for three days) and make changes as needed, then go over everything again with a fine toothed comb, beta readers, final edits, and we won’t even go into what it will take to get the thing into the hands of paying readers.

It’s a process.  It’s also a lot of work, sweat, laughter, tears, torn out hair, encouragement from loved ones, stress, growth, and elation.  You learn a lot along the way.  Mainly that you have more gumption than you thought you did.  There have already been a few times when I’ve wondered what I was doing trying to write an entire book.  And not just one, I have a whole file of story-lines, a few with a couple pages of dialogue, some with character sketches, a couple with some research done, most need piles of refining before I can go any further with them.  When I look at those I am reminded that I have too many books in me to stop before the first one is even finished.  This one may take me another year or two, plans may change, thoughts will shift and solidify, but I will always want to write books.

My advice: Stick with it. Every part of life comes with it’s own challenges. It’s inevitable that your brain will be almost constantly working on something you are passionate about (even if it’s subconsciously musing on a problem). Accept that part of you will be preoccupied, and move on with your life. It’s a well known stereotype that writers, artists, and other geniuses (ego stroking) are socially inept, so perhaps on that scale we’re doing alright. We actually reply when people greet us, we can drive without running over all the garbage bins on one side of our street, and our outfits are (usually) color coordinated.

For my own sake, I will be putting together a Facebook group for this weekly meeting that I attend. That way, next time I will be able to double check the schedule the evening before. And for the absent memory, I think a pocket calendar for my purse will be in order. That way family members will be able to point to my purse and say “Write it down, please.”

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Until Next Time…

What are you passionate about? Do you love to knit/run/read/travel/train falcons/breed glow in the dark goldfish?

How have you doubted yourself in the past, and more importantly, how did you get yourself to continue through a difficult patch?

 

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A Late Night Christmas Post

25 Dec
Holly - No, I Wasn't drunk when I drew it!!!

Holly – No, I Wasn’t drunk when I drew it!!!

Here I sit, on my bed, beneath a blanket, and my brand new Laptop Holder with Advanced Cooling System (thanks Mom and Dad!).  In a few minutes I will have to get up and take another dose of cold medication.

I only managed to get to one family Christmas get-together this year, Christmas Eve evening.  My mother’s side of the family has already been passing this cold around, so those who don’t have it now have at least been exposed to it by someone else.  My father’s side of the family, though, decided to do a morning thing.  I already am not good at mornings, add a cold to that, and the fact that my late grandmother’s husband is very susceptible to lung problems, so we (hubby and I) opted to stay home and work on getting me better.

Christmas with my mother’s family is always an adventure.  Even though there are not a million of us, I suppose at times we can come across as though there are.  We all love to talk, laugh, and sing; and about half of us love to argue (some say debate, but since I hate confrontation, it always comes across as arguing).  After the dinner prayer was said by my father, we all took our turn through the kitchen and loaded our plates.  At that point the sounds in the room were compliments to the cooks, the children arguing over who’s plate belonged to whom, and the usual small noises associated with people eating a large, delicious meal.  Mashed Potatoes and Gravy!!!  Yum!

Fast forward half an hour, and we’re all relaxing in the living room, chatting away.  Someone asks, “when are we going to open the presents?”  One of my brothers-in-law puts on a Santa hat and begins handing out colorful bags and boxes.  Paper, ribbons, and tissue paper are flying through the air.  Half a dozen pocket knives come out of nowhere to aid in the opening of boxes and the release of various toys from their specially designed, impossible to open packaging.  Grandma has people listening intently just in case she should make the slightest noise of a want or need (she has rheumatoid arthritis).  The two little ones are soon in a battle of the wills over a new toy keyboard (the poor things were very overstimulated).

My husband received a DVD of Brave, t-shirts, cookies, goodies, etc.  I was given a new skirt, gloves, a book cozy, and a few other things.  We were both given some movie tickets, and a gift certificate to a restaurant we like.

What really made me happy was the way friends of the family, and fringe relatives were unthinkingly absorbed into our group.  No lengthy introductions, no seating them beside someone they might have something in common with.  We just let them come into our lives, tell them to make themselves comfortable, and treat them as though they’ve always been a part of us.  Having been reminded of the way my family treats guests, it’s little wonder at my having so many ‘sisters’: Young women who have been ‘adopted’ by my bio-sisters and I, and who are now just as important in our lives as each of the original four of us.  There have even been a couple who’s home lives were scrambled enough that they took to calling my parents Mom and Dad.

The importance of family and friends is loud and clear in the Christmas season (and Hanukkah :D).  I hope that you took some time to remind your loved ones how important they are to you.  If not, there’s still a few days before the New Year gets here, and the great Money Machine starts gearing up for St. Valentines day.

Perfection: The Impossible Goal

21 Dec

If you are a writer, author, or just doodling around with the idea of a book, you need to read this article.

The Business Rusch: Perfection

Written By: Kristine Kathryn Rusch

This is a hole I have been endeavoring to not fall into, but darn it, it’s just so big!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to get some writing done.

Chalk, pencil, typewriter, computer...Just Write Already!

Chalk, pencil, typewriter, computer…                    Just Write Already!

A Rollercoaster of a Week

17 Dec

Well, Hello again. 

Have you had the kind of week I just experienced?

On Wednesday afternoon I had just decided that the fever was gone and I could resume my regular activities, when an uncle called to tell me that my last Great-grandparent had peacefully passed away at about 12:30pm.

Then there was that horrible shooting in Connecticut a day later, and a couple other sad things relayed to me by my husband that evening.  Cried myself to sleep.

The next day was a niece’s Princess themed birthday party, which I was very late to, because I had to wait for a migraine to subside before going anywhere near excited toddlers.  It was a good party, though.  She had many friends and relatives attend, and received tons of toys, including a pink Schwinn tricycle, and a Cinderella Pez dispenser.  Kind of a toss up as to which one she liked better, really.  One gives you sugar, the other lets you go fast.  Eh, why not both?

Then Sunday morning, as we were sitting in church, the children were called up to help sing a song.  It was so hard not to cry, for oh, so many reasons.  The service was wonderful, though.

So now, I am in something of a stunned, reflective mood.  Not sure what I’m reflecting on.  Perhaps it’s the fact that at least my Great-grandmother was most way through her 90’s.  That I’m glad she had a good life, full of love and family, a quiet passing, and many people who will remember her fondly.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m glad I have lots of family.  No, I do not have 12 first cousins and 50 second cousins, but compared to some people, I do have many in my life whom I consider to be family, loved ones, friends who are so close they are treated as brothers, sister, spare fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles.  They do not take away from the love I have for my biological family.  If anything, they help magnify the love I have for everyone who makes my life special.

This Christmas will be difficult in some ways.  This year I have lost a grandmother, and a great-grandmother, the World has spent this last year just getting crazier and crazier,  and we are still not financially stable enough for children.

However, this Christmas will be wonderful in many ways: my nephews are now big enough to open their presents with little to no help; we may all be going through tight financial times, but we will still all get together, giving perhaps a few more gifts that are ‘needed’ rather than just ‘wanted’; the loss of loved ones seems to amplify my awareness of the need to love now, to tell the ones I have that they are special, wanted, and thought of; watching the snow fall outside it’s also crystal clear that I am thankful for a warm house, hot food to eat, and a wonderful husband to curl up with on cold nights.

Perhaps it’s the low blood sugar making me sappy, but when I really think about it, I have much to be thankful for in my life.  I realize that the ‘traditional’ time to be thankful was last month, but it’s so very important to see, and acknowledge what you have now.  If you don’t learn to be comfortable with little, then you will never be content with more, no matter how much ‘more’ you acquire.

*   *   *

I have, unfortunately, done almost no writing this week.

There have been a couple additions to my book ideas folder.  Perhaps an anthology or two, with the help of a few relatives, would be in order.

I have been reading my mother’s romance novel, although admittedly I have been slacking on that project as well.  Not for lack of interest.  Far from it, I can hardly wait to find out who is causing so much trouble and pain, and to see how the main love interests finally get together, and to discover what becomes of all the eligible bachelors who’ve come out of the woodwork.

Perhaps taking my vitamins on a regular basis will help with this lackadaisical feeling.  I should also start taking walks again.  Maybe if I start taking care of myself the way I should some of the fog will lift from my brain, and some of the lead will drop from my…tush.

Doing it will be the only way to find out.  I guess now that I’ve told you it had better start getting done, huh?  Down coat, and ear muffs, here I come!  After I take this multivitamin, that is.

Until Next Time…

So, what has been your overall mood this month, so far?  Have you been looking forward to Christmas?  Or dreading it because of the memories it will dredge up?  A strange mix of the two?

& & &…

What is on your Christmas list?  Example: I would like an Amazon gift card, a Wizard 101 cash card, decaffeinated English Breakfast tea, a small jar of Stevia powder, almonds, pepitas, lots of big hugs, my back popped by my youngest sister, mashed potatoes and gravy, and some help putting together a cover for my book of poetry.

For Your Perusal

11 Dec

Like many people, I have been sick for a few days. I’m still not quite back to ‘normal’, so after mindlessly wandering the internet looking for things to entertain my hot, restless little brain, I came up  with an idea for a post.  Why not let you meander through other people’s posts which I have found helpful or entertaining?

Here They Are:

Things Are Changing at Amazon and Facebook…..So How Do You Cope? – From Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

Blogging, Social Networking, Answering Emails – Hey, when do I get the time to write? – From Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

Replay 2012 | How To Sell Self-Published Books: Read This First – From Catherine, Caffeinated

Haleakala Crater, Maui – From Canadian Hiking Photography (this one may take a moment to load. It’s photos. It also may trip your computer’s security system, because of the amount of links on the site. Please be brave and ignore the warnings. This is a site for this photographer to show his work, and if you want you can purchase prints.)

*    *    *    *    *

I finished Terry Pratchett’s Dodger, last night.  It’s now my first review in the page Book Reviews, on this site.  Either click the link in that last sentence, or at the top of this page to check it out.

Please and Thank you!

Until Next Time…

What was the last book you read and really liked?

and

If you could go anywhere for a recuperative vacation, where would you want to be for a week or two? (since this is hypothetical, money and logistics are not a problem.)

Stay Healthy!

A Very Bossy Poem

4 Dec

Lucky Ducky

In the middle of the night, I was awakened by a poem forming in my mind.  It would not leave me alone.  So, in self-defense, I wrote it down.  It took several attempts at sleep to get all the stanzas onto paper.  Finally, it seemed that I was done.  But no, by that time I needed to eat something (I had a headache. One of the many warning signals I receive when my blood sugar is low).  Even then, rest did not come.  This poem is demanding to be read by many, and would not let me go until I had promised to put it on my blog.

So here it is.  Let me know what you think of it.

I…am going to take a nap.

 

Lucky Ducky

 

(1)

Rubber Ducky

You’re so lucky

You get to play

Every day

Morning and night

It’s just so right

You need but wait

Anticipate

A perfect fate

A simple state

(2)

Rubber Ducky

You’re so lucky

When you’re squeaky

When you’re squeezy

When you’re green

They’re not mean

When in glasses?

Loved by masses

A perfect fate

A simple state

(3)

Rubber Ducky

You’re so lucky

Blue or yellow

Bath time fellow

No color hate

No race debate

Innocent love

Blessed from above

A perfect fate

A simple state

(4)

Rubber Ducky

You’re so lucky

Short and chubby

Plump and stubby

Despite how you

View this issue

Still every day

With you they play

A perfect fate

A simple state

(5)

Rubber Ducky

You’re so lucky

Your smiling face

You know your place

In this big world

Purpose unfurled

Bring bathtub joy

To girl and boy

A perfect fate

A simple state

(6)

Rubber Ducky

You’re so lucky

It’s clear to see

Even by me

They love you now

They love you how

You were back then

You’re still a ten!

A perfect fate

A simple state

My questions:

What do you think?

If you have an editing suggestion please refer to

the stanza number and then the line number.

Example: In 5:7, I changed it to ‘Bring bathtub joy’,

instead of ‘You bring such joy’.

(Not certain about the change, though. Thoughts?)

Should I change the last two lines to:

A simple fate

A perfect state

I have been toying with an alternate title:

Unconditional Love

Would you change the stanzas around? 

If so, in what order would you arrange them?

Do you think this would be a good addition to my book

My Ignored Hamper and Other Bathroom Poetry?

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Releasing My First Poem into the World

3 Dec
A cool photo editing accident

A cool photo editing accident

This is the first poem of several which I will be sharing on this blog.  They are pieces of a collection which I am considering calling My Ignored Hamper, and Other Bathroom Poetry.  Hopefully this little book of poems will be able to be uploaded to Amazon in time for a February 1st launch date.  Fingers crossed!

Let me know know what you think.

(Please remember to be kind to this fledgling author.  It took a lot of work just to get myself to the point where I could show any of my writing to family, so if you have anything negative to say please hide it in a spoon full of sugar.)

My Ignored Hamper

The clothes they have shed?

On the floor looking dead

Ignoring the hamper

To the tub they do scamper

Their clothes in a heap

Into bubbles they leap

When they’re asleep

I’ll let my tea steep

It’ll take just a minute

To put the clothes in it

But for now I’ll enjoy

My two little boys

Until Next Time…

What kind of reaction did you receive toward your first step into the world of writing (blogging, and creative writing/English classes count in this question)?

Are you also a fledgling (or not so fledgling) artiste working up the guts to show some of your work to carefully selected critics, or even preparing for the potentially scary act of  allowing the World to see your precious creation?

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