Sunday, September 25, 2016

The thing about characters is . . .

Okay, first off, on the 100 day thing.  I have no idea where I'm at.  But I've been making progress, and I am happier than I've been in a while overall.  Still ups and downs, but at least I don't feel as if I'm stuck any more.

NOW about the writing. . .

I've been doing it.  Eight pages a day average.  Four on each project.  Both are going well.  Both now require a bit of research, which I am about to do.

The thing is, I had to write this HUGE disclaimer at the front of the cozy mystery.  It is set in a small town.  I live in a small town.  They are NOT the same small town.  There is NOT A SINGLE PERSON in this book that is a reflection of any actual real person I know.  Seriously.  NOT     ONE.  I have to say that loudly and repeatedly because I have found that, for some reason, people I know locally want this to be a salacious Peyton Place kind of book that actually mimics reality so that they can try to figure out "who is who".  Nobody is.  For one thing I DON'T WANT/NEED TO GET MY ASS SUED.  For another, most of you guys are really pretty boring.  Seriously.  Get over it.

So, anyway, the characters who ARE in the book are the people who have announced themselves to me.  And as is frequently the case in my imagination, they sprang forth fully formed and they don't give a fat rat's ass whether I like certain things about them.  This is a sample "conversation" in my head with the main character:

ME:  Um, look, I'm not a lesbian.  This is going to make it really REALLY hard for me to write you believably.  Can I maybe. . .

MEGAN:  Tough shit.  I am.  Deal with it.

ME:  But . . .

MEGAN:  No buts.  I am.  You're a writer.  Use your imagination.  Ask people if you're afraid you've gotten it wrong.  But love is love. You've loved people.  I know you have.  Deal.

ME:  But she's BLIND.  I mean, can I at least . . .

MEGAN:  Yes, Beth is blind.  It's harder on her than it is you, believe me.  If she can handle it, you can write about it. 

AND THIS, my friends, is why my imagination always wins.  Because it is filled with hard-asses who are not afraid to stand up for me.  And yes, I know, it does make me sound crazy.  But apparently the characters in my imagination DO NOT CARE if they drive me crazy.  They figure I'm already halfway there.  I'm a writer.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Crisis of Confidence

I am not perfect.

I will never be perfect.

I try.

I fail.

I try again.

I screw up.

Sometimes, at about this point, I get discouraged and think, maybe I should pack it in.  Seriously, is it time to give up.

Then I get my back up.  Or somebody says something mean and bitchy and I REALLY get my back up.  So I try again.

And holy crapola, I SUCCEED!  WOOT, WOOT, I ROCK.  I'm AWESOME.  I'm so glad I didn't quit.

And then it's on to the next thing.  I feel I've learned.  I've grown.  How hard can it be?

And I fail.

This is life.  Progress is not measured in a directly rising angle.  It's more of a slow up and down climb through the foothills to the mountains, and eventually a vertical climb up to the summit. 

I get tired.  I get discouraged. 

But I'm still climbing.

So far anyway.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

And we're off (but you knew that).

Okay, I am not sure how many days I'm in to the program, but I figure I'm just continually trying to change and grow, so it won't matter so much.

I have done my exercises.  I have been taking my vitamins and the Rx.  I have been writing every day.  I sent the first part of the mss off to an editor friend for comments.  I contacted a thriller author to see if he'd be willing and have time to give me a quote a month or so from now.  I have done the newsletter up and got three chapters ready to attach in hopes that the audience will be salivating for the new Celia Graves novel that comes out in a month. 

I have done the motivational and spiritual work that I need to, and ordered the programs and learning materials I need.  I have been working on the household stuff, but have not made as much progress on the repairs as I had hoped -- but will work on improving that as well.

So, all in all, I'm doing well.  I'm feeling better physically and emotionally. 

With regard to the thriller, because I'm thinking of self-pubbing it (my publisher is Fantasy/Sci Fi/UF specialist) (and although if the agent thinks otherwise, I may change my mind) if I do I think I'm going to have a section in the back for FSBB (fun stuff in the back of the book) which will have fun stuff like the drawings I do for the floor plans of buildings, a photo I've taken of the water tower with all of the vultures on it (one day there were 126 of them!  When you consider these birds are BIG -- say 2 ft tallish that's a LOT of birds/feathers/poop); a copy of the bag packed the way I have the heroine doing it to prove that YES it CAN be done.  (She fits a LOT of stuff in that bag.  LOL).  I may change my mind about it, I do change my mind a lot, but it sounds like a fun thing and it would give readers a little insight into the little things I do to try to make sure that the book is relatively accurate.  Not perfectly accurate, but relatively.  (I have not ever been a spy, ergo, I am making some of this up from the seat of my pants--but I have done the research.)

Okay, I have to go.  Writing a reminder to the newsletter guru as it didn't go out yesterday.  I believe she was out planting trees.


Saturday, September 03, 2016


Okay, I'm not sure what day it is.  I could do the math, but that would require counting back and looking at the first post and the heck with that.  Whatever the heck day it is, it is a good one. 

I have been writing.  It is going well.  I switched from first person to third so that I can add a POV character because the main character cannot be in two places at once.  (This is not a sci/fi or fantasy book, it's a thriller).  This has meant going through and changing about fifty to sixty pages.  But it is worth it.  And I am finally, FINALLY feeling like a writer again.  Cutting out a lot of passive voice, which is what I fall into when I'm tired.  If you ever read passive voice in my books, know that it is in there because I was too exhausted to actually see what I was doing.

Today is the first day of a 5 day weekend for me.  This is awesomeness personified.  And I am already kicking butt getting things done.  So I get 10 major attagirl points. 

I have been doing a lot of affirmative stuff. 

About a year and half to two years ago (yikes) I found a bunch of tape programs in a drawer that were self-help, affirmative, GO FOR IT stuff that was HUGELY helpful to me, and moved me toward being happier and reaching my goals, gave me energy, etc.  But they were TAPE programs.  This is an issue.  It is HARD to find cassette recorders that work.  Mine died.  Two more that I bought on Amazon died.  And now some of the tapes were wearing thin.  (Can't say as I blame them.  Seriously, it's 2016.  I got these in appx. 1992-1995ish.  These babies may not have gotten a lot of use (if any) before the past couple of years, but they're OLD.  SO, after an attempt that was not entirely successful at getting another tape player, I went onto Amazon as one of my 100 day things and found a couple of the programs that worked best for me on CD, on sale, as cheaply as I would've been able to get another cassette player.  Now I know CD's are on their way out too, but I have several things with CD players in them and an old Sony CD player.  So I should be set for a while.  :)

So I am back in business on that.

I had used a particular prayer book daily for a long time.  It fell apart.  This is a sign that it was useful.  SO, as one of my 100 day things I went online and found a store that (fingers crossed) I THINK has the right booklet, and have sent off for it in the mail.  :)

I have not been doing as well on the exercise front.  I have to get onto that.  But having some time off means I can catch up on housework, and some of the "schtoof" that I've been too behind on so that I use the time to try to keep my life on track rather than making progress to getting the life I want. 

I'm still battling some depression, but it's receding as I get control and take action about the things that were bothering me the most.  I'm trying to remember to take my vitamins, etc. regularly.  Sleep schedule is still totally screwed, but that's part of the whole stress and no exercise package.  Seriously, when I exercise I'm less stressed, sleep better, feel better and accomplish more.  But somehow getting myself to do it regularly is HARD.  Stupid, but true, and not just for me I think.

I am now off to do more.  Be well.  Be happy.  Buy books.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sorry about the rant the other day.  Sometimes I just get grumpy.  I suspect the same is true of everyone. 

AND NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS!   A couple of the advance reviews of ALL YOUR WISHES are in and they're GOOD!  Really good. 

We will now pause for Cie to do the happy dance.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

OKAY, I didn't really intend for this to turn into a rant, but there you go.  Read further at your own risk.

Days 7 and 8.

Okay, I'm a week into this and already I'm finding myself having sporadic results.  Life gets busy.  I get tired.  Whatever.  It is, however, Saturday again, and hopefully I can accomplish some of the stuff that I didn't get done during the week.  Of course this means that the weekend is hectic and I'm still tired when Monday rolls around.  But stuff doesn't do itself.  None of it. 

I enjoy being single.  I like not having people second-guess what I plan to do and when I want to do it.  I like making my own decisions.  I LOVE not having somebody say (as every guy I dated did) about the writing "You can do that any time.  You don't need to do it now.  Sit down, relax, spend a little time with me." 

Now, don't get me wrong, I liked, even loved the guys.  But you CAN'T do it any time.  There are deadlines, and energy issues and they said it EVERY SINGLE TIME I'd try to write.  They'd come to the house when I said "please don't.  I'm hitting up against a deadline and really have to work on this all weekend," to check on me, "see how it's going" "how you're doing."  Some of them made it clear they thought I wasn't writing at all, I was sneaking off to be with some other guy.

[For the record.  I don't cheat.  If we're in a monogamous relationship and I'm not happy with you, I'll either work on it with you or dump your sorry ass.  I     DON'T     CHEAT.  I don't like being cheated on--so I figure the guy I'm with wouldn't either.] 

I don't like not being taken seriously.  I don't like having people not LISTEN or believe me.  I TRULY don't like having a guy be jealous of my career.  And make no mistake folks, the writing is the career.  The day job is just a paycheck.  I'm good at it.  I work hard at it.  But it is NOT my career.

SO, since I repeatedly had so much trouble with the men I dated not getting it--and me--I felt I had to make a choice.  And I chose me.  And while I would love to have somebody in my life who got it, and me, and who thinks I'm just plain wonderful and don't need to change -- I'd really, really, rather be alone than have someone who doesn't.

So I'm alone.  And I'm okay with it 99.8% of the time.  When the .2% hits I treat it like a migraine, take something for the pain and sleep it off. 

BUT (You just knew there was a but, didn't you,) when you are alone, you are ALONE.  There is no back up.  If you fall and dislocate both hips, you're going to be dragging your injured body across the floor to let the EMT's in so that they don't have to break something that you'll have to try to fix later, while injured. 

If things need to be done, you either do it yourself, or you have to pay somebody (or if you're really lucky your friends will look at it and say.  "Oh for the love of . . . here, let me help.")

I'm strong.  I'm capable.  But I get freaking TIRED people.  REALLY REALLY TIRED.  And when I get tired I get cranky. 

But shit still doesn't do itself.  I've tried to teach Lucky the Wonder Dog to scrub the floors.  She isn't interested.

Which reminds me.  She rolled in the dust again, so I need to give her a bath.  Add that onto the list for today.

So, what have I done the past few days.  Stuff. 

I've been trying to get exercise (probably managed it 3 or 4 days out of 7). 

I've been cooking and cleaning and doing laundry (which doesn't sound like much, but takes time). 

I HAVE WRITTEN EVERY SINGLE DAY!! (Granted, some of it was crap.  But I did it.  And that's a big deal). 

I've been saying my prayers and taking care of my spiritual life.

I got the LLC back in good standing with the Secretary of State. 

I did some educational videos.

I paid bills.

Sometime this weekend I need to go through the backlog of paperwork and start on some home repairs.  I've got research to do for the writing.  I've got WRITING to do for the writing.  I also need to back up my computers because they're starting to act out.

NOTE TO THE WORLD--I have been hit by lightning.  When I get stressed out I fry clocks.  I can't wear a watch.  And my electronics go weird.  I have been stressed.  Weirdness has ensued.

I realize most people don't believe this.  They don't have to.  Or they can educate themselves by looking up the afteraffects of being hit by lightning.  Apparently the crap I experience isn't uncommon for lightning strike survivors.  Whatever. 

My personal all time record is going through 11 clocks in 3 months. That's wall clocks, table clocks, the whole schlmiel.  It gets pretty expensive.  It is also why I carry a cheap "dumb phone" rather than a smartphone.  There is no point getting something expensive, programming it, and having it die within a couple of months so that I have to do the whole thing over again.  Besides, I am a Luddite.  I use my phone as a PHONE.

Now, I don't know if anybody is going to read this.  In fact, I might be happier if they didn't.  But I have decided to be honest, and this is about as honest as it gets for today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Days 5 and 6.

Okay, Day 5 I did diddly squat.  I was tired, cranky, and needed clean clothes for work.  I ran nine bazillion errands (okay, maybe it only FELT like nine bazillion, but it really did FEEL that way) and I only managed to write a couple of paragraphs because it was a transition scene and I was having one of THOSE days where it all looks like crap and the temptation is to hit the delete key and just dump it all.  (To quote my son when he used to live at home "PUT YOUR HANDS UP!  STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD!")

Today has just been crazy busy thus far--so I'm not expecting to make much progress on anything today either.  But somehow or other I'm going to get things back on track by tomorrow.