Monday, February 18, 2019

Take a Damn Break...

My stepdad was having knee replacement surgery. That meant a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms and night hours after my mom went to bed. Lots of time to finish a revision, do a critique, write blog posts, and network on social media.

Unless of course, you forget your laptop power cord which is a unique size that has to be specially ordered and wouldn't arrive until after you went home, and home was almost two hours away- too far for a quick retrieval.

Damn.

With all my notes and material on the laptop or at home, no way could I work on anything.

I was forced to take a break.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels, Alexander Dummer

So I read a book. Played Scrabble and Dominoes with my parents. Watched TV I had no interest in with them. Walked their dog. Cooked their favorite dishes. 

It made me slow down, appreciate blessings like precious time with family, reconnect with my love of reading for pleasure, enjoy a walk in springlike weather and notice that hyacinths and daffodils would soon be here.

I need to remind myself more often to just 'take a damn break.' An energized and refreshed writer is a better writer than one who is stressed and harried, looking to simply get something done. 

With the non-productive week behind me, I'm going to be even more busy, but that's okay. My mind is sharper and I'm happier. 

So take a damn break!

Char

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A Few Days Off...

I promised myself that if my New England Patriots won the Super Bowl that I was going to enjoy the win and take a Monday off from blogging. Maybe I can get the MVP, Julian Edelman, to read MY squirrel story, Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines. So congrats guys, see you in September!



Char

Monday, January 28, 2019

What I Hate About Writing

Yep, I'm going to rant. You know, writing's not the glamorous job people think it is. Here are the 5 Things I Hate Most About Writing:

Photo courtesy of Pexels, Mohamed Abdelgaffar


1. Microsoft Word and every other word processing program. They are written by geeks, and therefore, there are always glitches, or rather, stupid things that makes writers and other non-geeky people yank out their hair because IT MAKES NO SENSE. Take headers. You can insert them, but it isn't that simple if you want page numbers in a certain place and a different first page and a title. I have spent the last half hour trying to get the page numbers on my sci fi manuscript to make sense. Why does it stop halfway through the document and then start over? I did not click on a box for that. Grrrrrr. And EVERY PROGRAM IS DIFFERENT. I don't want to learn another stupid, doesn't-make-sense program. I won't live long enough.

2.  I hate when critiques give you completely opposite advice. "Cut this character." "I love this character!" "Less dialog." "More dialog." How can I reconcile all this? Granted, some opinions hold more weight, like from an editor or agent, versus someone who hasn't published their first book...but readers know good stuff (it's why only editors and academics like James Joyce....).

3.  I hate when I make revisions- and the manuscript is WORSE. Do I throw out both manuscripts and start over? Do I try to fix one of them? Uggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

4.  I hate when I have an idea, and I get the story written, but someone (i.e. editor, agent, crit group) says "I loved the premise sooooo much! But not the rest of the story."  *Bangs head against wall.

5.  When I have too many ideas to ever write them all in my lifetime because I'm busy fighting with the damn word processing software or revisions. You really don't know what you're going to miss...

Okay. Rant over. But I still haven't figured out the stupid headers.

Char

Thursday, January 17, 2019

And The Word Is...

It seems everyone is choosing a word that will be their key word for the year. I've seen lots of excellent choices. Mine will be:


BREATHE 

Before I respond to a troll on Twitter of other social media, I'm going to breathe- and slow down that impulse reaction.

Before I panic over a manuscript rejection, I'm going to breathe- and acknowledge it wasn't for this particular editor, and look at who's next on the list.

Before I despair over someone's unkind opinion of me, I'm going to breathe- and ask myself if their opinion is important in the scheme of my life.

Before I get upset over something that didn't go my way, I'm going to breathe- and remind myself of all the blessings that I've been given.

Before I give up on something that's important to me, I'm going to breathe- and remember that nothing worth doing will be easy and to give it another shot.

Before I say yes to an activity someone wants to me lead/join/do, I'm going to breathe- and see if it's what I want. 

Picture courtesy of Wendy Hero, Pexels.

So if I don't answer a question as soon as it's asked, or jump to sign up to volunteer, or respond to something, just wait for me to finish breathing...

Char

Monday, January 7, 2019

A New Attitude

The holidays are over, and it's time to get back into a steady routine. I'm a list-maker but I find lists for 6 months, yearly, or longer get lost or ignored. So to force myself to be more proficient, I've decided that I'm going to make a monthly tasks list. Here's what I need/want/have to do for January:

  1. Finish review of Sirenz 3 critique.
  2. Review Sirenz 3 at least twice more.
  3. Do critique for fellow crit group member
  4. Finish rough outline for adult book
  5. Review critiques for Island Girl (book 2 in twisted classics trilogy)
  6. Make notes, possible rough outline for book 3 in twisted classics trilogy.
Sounds like a lot, (and it is), especially since I'm still fighting this respiratory infection which is making me pretty listless. Plus, I still have other obligations- bell practice, trustee meeting and other church obligations, and mom/wife stuff. And, my New England Patriots are in the playoffs. 

Will everything get done? Probably not. But I will celebrate each time I cross off one To Do from the list, and not beat myself up if I don't get to all of the items. I'm thinking my new official song should be "I've got a new attitude."

I'll keep you posted, so stop in (feel free to leave an encouraging word). 

Photo courtesy of Pexels, Inc, artist: Burst

Char

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Starting Off on the Right Foot

It's 2019, a new year full of possibilities. I'm determined to do things differently this year. A number of people have posted a similar list, so I'm not claiming to be the originator.

What I'm Not Doing This Year!

1. Trying to please everyone.
2. Letting people or social media distract me from writing.
3. Hanging onto hurts or injustices or anger.
4. Keeping stuff I don't want- or need.
5. Worrying over things that I can't change or aren't worth the time.
6. Letting opinions of others move me to anger or upset.
7. Putting myself last, especially if it comes to my health or something that is important to me.

I think I'll stop there. There are always more things we'd like to put on our lists, but I want to keep mine doable. Will I always succeed? Heck no, but the important thing is to try, and to recognize opportunities to stick to the list. In time, it may become second nature.

And to start off on the right foot, I'm going to wear my new fave socks (in honor of Jack, my science-loving squirrel):

Thanks Mom and Dad!


Till next time!

Char

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Tis MY Season...

to chill and read. I love the holidays. I'm taking a break from writing, but I'm still revising. I'll be reading cozy Christmas stories, baking cookies, and practicing bells for Christmas Eve. The house is decorated and the tree up. I'm ready for family and friends and all the celebrating that comes. I can't guarantee that I'll be timely posting on my blog over the remaining 3 weekends of the holiday season, but if I have good news (manuscripts are out on sub) I'll pop in. So, I hope you're all enjoying some down time and getting revitalized for the new year.


I'll see you when I see you....

Char