Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall Break, Family Ties & Friendship

How did we get from August to October(tomorrow!) so quickly?

I need to be editing today, but instead I find myself concentrating on what I need to pack for me and my daughter for our annual "Fall Break" visit to my hometown to spend the week with my parents, sister and friends. I've balanced the checkbook, paid a couple of bills, checked the weather report for my hometown.

Truth is, I eagerly anticipate this week, usually as soon as I get back from our annual summer visit up there. ;)

These days though, I can take my work with me when I go, so I can squeeze in editing and things like that while I'm there, especially since my parents computer is a dinosaur and there's no way I could work on my novels on their computer (it's slow, has dial up and no Word program.)

Of course, a week is never enough for me to touch base with my roots. I miss my family and enjoy the time I do get to spend with them when I go. Which gives me pause to wonder if that's why I build such important family links in my novels. Even characters whose parents have died have someone—an aunt, uncle, grandparent, best friend or substitute "loved one" who is their rock, looks out for their best interests and is always there for them when they're in need.

Family & friendships are cornerstones for me. They are the shoulders we need when our world falls apart, the cheering section when we're racing toward our goals, the ones to hold our hands when we lose things that are important to us and they are the ones who will celebrate loudest when we succeed. In some respects, we wouldn't be who we are without them. They instill courage and bravery and strength when we are lacking those qualities and they prop us up after a dark night of storms to see that the sun will rise again.

I'm looking forward to spending time with those people closest to me, the ones who buoy me up when I'm sinking down in the murk, who lend a helping hand when I've fallen to my knees and need a boost to get back up. Even when things are going well, it's a blessing to reconnect with those who's roots are entwined with your own. It helps balance and ground you and gives you clarity once again.

Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

What's Lurking in that Dark Corner of the Writing Cave?


What is it with me and adverbs? Sure, they are "lovely" the way they roll off the tongue in their frilly, prissy sort of way, but in recent days I feel like I'm the Queen of Adverbial. Her Royal Highness of LY.

Yes, that's an apt title for my entry into proper society. There I stand at the head of the stairs in my long blue satin dress with the sequin sash and a very small, but adequate tiara tucked into my coiffed auburn hair, waving to the crowd with a gloved, cupped hand as I'm introduced with pomp and grandeur.

Eh, hem....anyway... (me in a dress is LAUGHABLE at best.)

And with a certain-certain social network that we all know and love/hate making huge user UNfriendly changes to what is my daily routine, I've gotten a lot of work done on those adverbs. This is great, part due to the fact that I don't feel as "obligated" to check up on what's going on there so often because my "news feeds" don't feed in real time or if they are, they're only based on what's supposedly "top news" to me.

Yeah. Well, as I had mentioned last week about shedding the time consuming games from my daily routines, I guess I can give a big shout out of THANKS to that certain-certain social network (we shall henceforth call CCSN)for also clearing time for me to do other more worthwhile things like work on those edits that I MUST get done.

It would seem, that at least for me, that CCSN made me want to use it LESS often rather than what the changes they made were intended for. I'm sure they think that this new format will draw more people in so they can track and keep tabs on the entire world.

The other day I commented that CCSN was like that kid on the playground, the one you ALWAYS want to play with, but now, he just smells a bit like poo and needs to wipe his nose. I'd rather avoid him altogether until he's had a bath.

It's a confusing and baffling emotion and even now, I think I'd rather go hang out with my other playground bully- my nemesis, the Adverb. I'd rather contend with the bully than deal with Pigpen right now.

In other news- I hope to get my "Autumn" decorating done tomorrow in the living room. Time to give it a good dusting anyway as I have neglected it for a while.

Once upon a cool rainy morning in September, Autumn was born....
Happy 1st day of Fall!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Sprinkling of Fairy Dust

Yep, I got dusted as I was falling asleep the night before last. It had been a LONG time coming since I'd seen the sparkle of inspiration and I figured I'd lose it before I got up in the morning because I was simply too exhausted to get up and find a notepad and pen. But then I awoke with not just one idea, but possibly three ideas, for new series' or stories to write in the future. I was up before 4 A.M. jotting down these fragments for later use, but I realized then, how good it was to be up that time of the morning, already thinking about writerly things and for a moment I just breathed and thought, "I've missed this."

And why is this significant? Because of my distraction. Because of my lack of concentration and procrastination. Because I have taken steps to walk away from an addiction. Yes. See, this all began a few years ago when I was first introduced to Facebook, which also coincided with my writing burn out.

At first it was nothing. Harmless little apps to "send roses" or "send a heart" or "answer a question about a friend." "Have a virtual pillow fight." "Pass a Drink." And this was great for someone looking for a little escapism from writing almost nonstop for about 3 years and producing 8 manuscripts in that time. I needed a break. My brain needed a break and I felt as though the inspiration well had run dry.

Now, those are seemingly harmless and sweet, but after a while it gets old and you end up removing them of your own free will because they just don't "fit" anymore when no one else is using them either.

They're novelty, but then came the requests.

"Come be my neighbor" or "Could you send me a bucket of mud" or "The zebra ate monkey poo and needs a vaccine" from any number of games that end in Ville or World. Most are products of a company that I shall simply call Z because ya'll KNOW what I'm talking about.

At first I thought, oh, this is easy, it's fun and I'd feel "guilty" if I don't help my friends out. I love my friends, so it's the least I can do.

I can send a couch to Jessie cause her living room is bare, or Zeke needs some pet food for Little Squeaker so he doesn't run away again. I have to grow veggies and fruit and that means in two hours, I have to come back or the crops will wither. These crops need to be shipped to that funny little eatery in the middle of nowhere, so I can cook a billion cheeseburgers or lobster with marble chocolate glaze and pears for some wedding mission that never seems to end. I can't make preserves without strawberries and Heaven help me if my homestead in the old west gets overrun with snakes, Dodo birds and other despicable varmints and brambles and tumbleweeds made of barbed wire. I don't care anymore if BillyBob Jimbo and Ethel Marmalade EVER get married.

Sadly, it's taken me at least 2 years to figure out that THIS is the source of my writing woes. I have an addiction. Since I started playing those time-(management)thieving games, my productivity has dropped, I haven't had any ideas in ages, etc. If anyone is to blame, it's....


No, it's me. I apparently have an easily addictive personality. But I am learning to break the habit, and overcome the worry of guilt. I still love my friends, but if I hope to produce more stories in the future and have this career in writing, it must be done. I must cut the cord. I have been weaning myself from the games recently because I'm tired of them. I probably hadn't actually played in a week, though I still accepted and sent gifts and fulfilled requests- up until 2 or 3 days ago.

And that's when I removed them. Well, I removed the ones I consider the biggest offenders. They've been sent into exile. There are a few small time criminals I'll hang onto, some for just those times when I do need a moment or two to stare off mindlessly into the oblivion and zone out a little, but as for the time-sucking vampires, they are gone. And I'm glad. I feel it when I wake up that I don't have those monkeys on my back anymore, or throwing poo at me to get my attention. My thoughts are clearer, my brain feels like it's revving up and getting back into the right gear....

And what did I get for clearing my head of the worry and constant concern over these games? For breaking away from my addiction?

Fairy Dust. (and inspiration)

Have a WONDERFUL, INSPIRING Thursday. The weekend is on the horizon!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Short & Sweet- It's Friday!

Had a rather uneventful Labor Day weekend. Spent it at home, because hubby had to work, then the cool snap we had was an early remind of how close we are to fall. Haven't had the air conditioners on for several days and the bus stop mornings are chilly to the bone.

Made a lot of headway this week on the underline-to-italics edits and have moved on from one 4 book series to the other one. Hubby's days off threw a monkey wrench into progress when he was off the past two days and we spent a little time on my driving- I drove from home all the way to town and to both the grocery stores we shop at and back home, so I count that as a very good day. Yesterday though we spent the better part of it watching movies.

One of my favorites- Madea's Big Happy Family, which serves to remind me what a wonderful storyteller Tyler Perry is. He never fails to put "heart" into what he writes for these plays and movies. He's a great talent.

Also watched You Again, Just Go With It, and Narnia: Voyage of the Dawntreader. All pretty decent movies.

The school week is dwindling off and I'm glad for a couple of days rest from the routine. Today I do need to call my mom and check on her. She fell last week and dislocated her elbow in two places and they had to "put it back." Haven't talked to her in a few days, so I don't know how she's feeling.

Hubby put in to have tomorrow off, so he'll be off again for two more days, so I figure I better make the most of the quiet time I have today, but I wanted to make sure I did get this posted.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! It's supposed to start warming back up here in Southern Kentucky, so make the most of the warm weather after we've had this little cool spell. I have a feeling it will start to stay cool more often pretty soon!

Happy Friday! Write On!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Long Week Ending, or Long Weekend?

Where is the time going?

The fact that it's already Friday again and I promised myself I'd post more often begged the question first. Then though a glance at the calendar also brought forth questions like "Where did August go? Is it already September? Really? Where did this YEAR go?"

This has been a long week that's coming to an end, but I'm also grateful that it's a "long weekend" we're heading into because, Wowee, wow, wow- it's already Labor Day weekend!

School is fully underway for the kids and they're really starting to get back into the groove of things. Hubby's bid to a different shift worked out so before too long he'll be working Wed-Sun, still on a 10-hour shift, but working 4 days in a row and having 3 consecutive days off in a row which I know makes him happier and will add a little normalcy back to our weekly routine. I know he's excited.

Last Friday after I posted I heard from my newly assigned editor, so I'm tickled over that. Then this week was made chipper by the discovery that my Author's Bio page is up on Turquoise Morning Press. This makes publication seem more real yet again. I find myself hit with small bursts of "Squee!" from time to time. Very surreal.

I have also still been working on the whole underline/italics thing in my manuscripts. My love affair must end though. Underlining words of emphasis is rather antiquated so I'm having to correct that through my manuscripts by changing them to italics. From there, I will head into deep self-editing mode again and then more writing. Perhaps I'll put myself on a strict self-inflicted deadline so I can finish writing one of my manuscripts *the one I began and won NaNoWriMo with last November*. I need to get it finished before November so I can use this year's NaNo to my advantage to write and finish the last book in my brothers' series.

And in other news- for those who aren't aware of this- I only have a permit- I've never had a huge need to drive, ever, but last year I was going to remedy that because I need to be more self-reliant, not just in the cases of emergency, but also because I want to be able to go visit my family when I get a notion, so I can run to the store if we need something, or if the kids get sick at school, I can go pick them up or take them to the doctor. I'm tired of feeling "stuck" and knowing I could easily solve this issue if I could just drive.

Well, needless to say, there were a lot of "universal" saboteurs that have stood in my way over the past year or so- bad timing or just no convenient time to go out and practice driving, automotive failures, irrational fears. Yesterday I took a step toward shaking off the irrational fears as well as moving forward with my original intent. I think I did pretty good and even my husband said I did really well considering I hadn't been behind the wheel in over a year.

I'm hoping this is the beginning of a means to an end for me. I'll have some freedom to travel when or if the need arises. I will be able to take care of things when my husband isn't able to and best of all, I might be able to FINALLY start squeezing into KYRW meetings from time to time! :D It would be great to finally meet all the wonderful authors in my chapter and it's yet another awesome reason I'm determined to accomplish this little feat.

So, on that thought, I'm off and gone. Need some lunch and then back to vanquishing the underline from my life, dirty little bugger!

Hope you have a wonderful long RELAXING weekend and you enjoy the company of family and friends, with good food and good times! Careful in your travels!

Happy Labor Day!