Boring But…Slightly Thrilling?

Raise your hand if you missed another week posting.

*raises hand*

Raise your hand if you had a GREAT post and then just…didn’t…write it.

*raises hand*

Raise your hand if you had a RIVETTING, GREAT post about almost dying in a car accident but then life got crazy and the weekend flew and you passed out on the couch from wine and forgot to write it.

*raises all the hands*

Well, it’s true. Batman and I almost died. But at least we were together (aawwww). Wouldn’t have been as cute if we were pancaked like the universe suggested, but some deity took the wheel and Nascar’d me to safety out there. I don’t know how we survived, honestly, as a car to the left was about to smash into my side WHILST another car was coming from the right, about to smash in Batman (due to me swerving from the lady on the left). It was a hard veer to the right, followed by an ever harder veer to the left, up over the curb, into the plastic construction work sign, and back down on the street, miraculously missing OTHER CARS AND THE LIGHT POLE.

Magic, it was. Or Guardian angels. Or a combination if they’re even different. Whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t me, so I don’t take any credit.

Other than my brush with danger, I’ve been well. Yes, I missed last weeks post (boo!) but that’s because I’m lazy and don’t have an excuse. But thank goodness I care enough not to miss two weeks in a row. Hurray for having at least some set of standards!

Life is going well. Job is okay. Actually not sucking at it, so I’m feeling pretty good! I’m on the sales report I want to be on at work, so now it’s just about upping my numbers. And I shall, my friends *cracks fingers with confidence* I shall. Still writing every day, and I know one of them will grant me the title for the book I’ve been writing for over a year.

Any day now…

But I’m not complaining. Every day I write more, clean up stuff, and generally make the story better, so I’m fine calling it Untitled for now. The title will reveal itself when it’s ready. Guess you can’t force these kinds of things, but I’m ready whenever you are, Muse…

Wish I had more to report, but a near-car accident, maintaining employment status, and getting a lot of writing done is all I’ve got for you this week. Boring but…slightly thrilling?

Whichever way you want to go, enjoy the week.

Make it badass.

~ Lady Caitlin

Making It Better #IWSG

There is a chance—a good chance—that I missed the last post for IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group). I don’t want to ring my own shame bell, but I’d be lying if I said I’d had perfect attendance all year, and I definitely haven’t, so, let’s forget my shortcomings and just jump into the optional question:

How long do you shelve your first draft before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

Excellent question! Mostly due to the appropriate timing since I’m a chapter and a half away (one week?) from being done with this FIRST draft of a COMPLETE re-write. So, the question is pretty much when do I swing back to the top with edits and re-writes and ways to improve the thing?

Right frigging away.

I don’t give myself a week away to get “fresh eyes” like lots of authors do. It’s never been my thing, and I think it’s because I’ll get beyond antsy if I don’t work on something. I mean—sure—I could find another small project to keep the creative juices flowing, but my heart knows I’m just writing fodder, and that none of it matters. What REALLY matters is going back through that completed draft and making it better.

So, why wait?

I certainly don’t. And I don’t plan on it with this story either. And, like all the other ones, the first draft is already weighing in at *quite* the length. Still have the remaining part of this chapter to write, plus another one, and I’m sitting at over a hundred thousand words. But it’s all good. I’ll edit the thing down to its rightful length, and if he’s still a chunky monster at the end, so be it. I’ve written my fair share of chunky monster books. Must be my thing.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

Think that’s all I’ve got for this week. We’ll touch base again next Wednesday, sound good?

Have a badass week!

~ Lady Caitlin

Magic Comes to You

Well, here I am, midweek in my first week being on my own. That’s right—I get to choose when to take lunch AND don’t have to worry about making sure I’m doing something correct for someone else. It’s all me, baby. All what I put into it. It actually makes me feel like an adult. Of course, I’m talking to you Day One. Let’s see how I feel Day One Hundred. Might want to be a kid again or have a kid job. I don’t know. But, I’ve tried a lot of other things and they didn’t work out…so…let’s see how I do with this.

Remember, getting good at this job might help me with the salesy part of writing that I DETEST, and so, this isn’t just the next job—it’s the next challenge to make me a better version of me.

(Again, ask me on Day One Hundred how it’s going…)

But I’m optimistic.

I have to be. The alternative is just too depressing, and I’m sorry, I just spent a year dealing with Covid bullshit, so no need to look for darkness when you can anticipate, hope for, and focus on the light.

Truth time: I was getting down on myself for a while because I wasn’t writing a lot. In fact, I was writing very little—the bare minimum I would force myself to write to still feel like I “worked.” For a few nights it was only a handful of sentences. Other nights, barely a few paragraphs. I crept along at turtle-speed, feeling like a creative failure. I was looking for darkness and found it. (Not recommended). Then I did something crazy. I forgave myself. Instead of berating myself for only getting a few sentences in, I applauded myself for inching my work that much more because if I hadn’t forced myself to sit down and focus for even a little bit of time, I wouldn’t have made the progress. I wouldn’t have advanced the story. I would have been just as far from the ending as before, so any work, even the *tiniest* amount counts. I know this—I’ve known this—but we tend to forget. So, when the epiphany sparked, I relaxed and let the darkness go. And then the craziest thing happened: I went in with the mindset of only writing a few sentences but after I reached what I expected would be the limit, I kept going. Kept writing. I wasn’t finished. Not only did I want to write more than a few sentences—I had to. Story was pouring out.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. It IS like magic. And look, I’m not saying it’s because I’m a Hogwarts Alumni or anything, but sometimes you submit yourself to the light and the magic comes to you. I’m going with this because statistically, it’s worked for me in the past.

Actual book update? Still no title. I’m past the Black Moment now and working on the denouement, the part of the story where things get explained and everything wraps up. Not a thousand percent sure how it’s actually going to end, but, I’ve pansted my way through this whole thing so why should the ending be any different?

On a final note, spent the weekend in Orlando with the family and had an awesome time! We went to Universal Studios on Sunday and I loved showing my nephew the Gringotts Bank ride in the new Harry Potter section. (Also: the ride is awesome. You should go if you haven’t. If you have, you should go again.) Now that the Orlando trip is behind us, it’s time to start setting my sights on summer.

I’m smelling a lot of barbecues in my future…

Have a badass week 😊

~ Lady Caitlin

Excited For This

It’s a big week for me. Well, it’s the last week. For me for training at work. So, I guess next week is a big week because the training wheels come off and we’ll see how good I do at this sales thing. That’s the other thing I’ll admit about this job: it’s in sales.

I don’t think I could’ve ever guessed that I’d try my hand at something like selling. Usually, I give up after a little resistance, but something about uncapped commission had me shrugging and saying, sure I’ll try. Also: I haven’t given up on this writing thing and while that’s, like, a *huge* part of the job, the other part is making people aware there’s a product, and that they should try it. No selling means no sales means pretty much what I’ve been doing with myself for the last decade. So, maybe this position will give me some tools and help with my writing gig?

Maybe?

I wrote the Black Moment, guys. Do you know what that is? In romance, it’s the part when the couple hit their iceberg, their emotional climax. It’s kind of the part when it seems like all hope is lost for the relationship. I wrote it and barely past it. Know what that means? I’m in the homestretch! I have a vague idea of the next few things that need to happen to bring the book to an end—first draft of rewrite almost done baby!

This is very exciting. It would be more so if I could refer to it by the title, but by the way it’s going, I won’t know until I’ve written the last word. And I still think my muse is going to hold onto it a little longer. Which is fine. It’s all good. I’m just happy the story is falling out of me, because I slowed down there for a little while, and it always makes me nervous when I only manage to squeeze out a few sentences a night. But this past weekend I wrote like a madwoman and I’m really excited for this!

I’m excited with the new direction it’s going.

Like the first storyline, this revised one will be long. Of course, we always trim in editing, so I’m hoping to shave off a bunch. But I think this will be better. Much better.

Okay, so, NEXT week is the big week at work. Every day is a BIG day for writing Untitled and hopefully soon, I’ll share the good news that I’m 1) still employed and 2) onto my second draft and 3) I’ve titled the damn thing (but don’t hold your breath)

Here’s to a fabulous week!

~ Lady Caitlin

Whoever’s In Charge

I started Mother’s Day with a massacre.

The plan was to open the window and get some beautiful weather in the house. The plan was not to see a ginormous brown spider on the floor at its base. It was also not the plan to spray it to death and watch the spider scuttle away, leaving behind its BILLIONS OF BABIES.

ON MOTHERS DAY.

*internal vomiting*

I would have to commit so much murder, and so, so early. Holding my breath and praying to everything holy, I grabbed the Ant/Roach can and sprayed the billions of scattering brown pinwheels until a white foam enveloped them while SIMULTANEOUSLY killing their scarily-giant mother who took a ridiculously long time to die on the opposite side of the window. On Mother’s Day. All before coffee.

Just like I dreamed it would happen.

How was your Mother’s Day? Hopefully a little less eventful than mine. And hopefully, a lot less massacre-y. Whatever you did, I’m rooting for the opposite of what I did, until I shared some mimosas with family, because that was definitely more enjoyable than the first part.

So…

BACK-TO-BACK weeks guys. What! Where did I go?? What was I doing?? Nowhere and nothing. Super lame, I know. I should’ve come up with an amazing story about impromptu cliff-diving or llama-farm-franchising, but feel honesty is the best policy, so, here we go: my lame butt has been going to my full-time job and then home to Batman and Appa every day. That’s it. That’s really it, and I’m just tired. Totally not an excuse (especially since we don’t have kids) but it is what it is. I’ve been a tired adult. But I’m here now, filling you in on all the lameness so you don’t have to worry if I’ve taken an impromptu cliff-diving trip and fallen off the cliff. I didn’t. I’m not dead. I’m here and alive and still contributing to society while I type away on a keyboard at night, weaving together name-less stories.

Regarding Untitled: it’s going well! I’ve managed to write a bit more each day, and feel myself rounding off toward the third quarter mark. Progress has definitely slowed since the new job, but it hasn’t stalled, and in the last few days, I feel it’s picked up a bit. So, I’m riding the wave of inspiration or dedication or whatever it is, and keeping the tunnel open as long as the words are flowing! So, keep em’ coming, Muse! Or Guardian Angel! Or Writing-God! Or whoever’s in charge up there. Or wherever you are. You know what I mean.

Everything else is good. Life is good. And, other than starting Mother’s Day on a killing spree, I’m in a happy, calming spot.

What about you? How was your holiday? Ever tried to open a window and slaughter a family instead first? Ah, happy times.

Well, off to write more of Untitled. It’s clearly not going to title itself, so why would I think it’d step up and write itself either? These demanding stories making me do all the work. Butler and Maid are yet to show their faces either. The nerve of some people.

Enjoy your week!

~ Lady Caitlin

It Still Counts

I really hope this makes it onto the blog, but, we’ll see.

I’m writing this last minute, and it has nothing to do with you. It’s all me. All me and my poor time-management, which is actually quite good at my day-job. Not sure if it’s because I’m getting paid to be responsible, or because of some secret fear of getting fired, but I’m able to do it in a cubicle. (And also, the weird desk situation I have going on with this latest gig.) Hopefully I can grab some of the magic employment dust and sprinkle it over this ol’ laptop of indieness to help with the time-management thing because sometimes, I honestly don’t know what happens.

Where the time goes.

Why my calendar didn’t update itself with a reminder.

And like, where the hell is my assistant?

It’s crazy the little amount of help I get. It’s like I’m doing this thing on my own. Absolutely crazy.

As you probably predicted, I still don’t have a title for my story. Awesome, I know. But it’s still going, still progressing, and I haven’t lost interest. Win! My job is quite distracting with all the learning and questions following me home, so putting that aside for a slice of time each night to focus on writing is paramount. And even if it’s only twenty minutes—say, writing a blog post perhaps?—it still counts. It counts because any creative brain power after a full day (or anytime really) chisels into the vault of creative energy, and that’s like tapping into the force. Even for a second, you’ve got to be proud of it. So, I am. Even of this little blog post.

I could probably chisel deeper and talk more about the job, but I’m far too many wine glasses away from revealing those details just yet. Not even sure I should here? Let’s just say, I’m one out of six females in an office of forty. Let that sink in. Only been there a little over two months and I think I’m finally used to it.

Alright, no more work-talk. No more talk-talk. I’m going to finish up this post and head over to draft # 5 of “Untitled” because the brain is still flickering with energy, and I’m going to capitalize.

Here’s to a fabulous week!

~ Lady Caitlin singing off

How I Get My Blog Titles

I started writing my April newsletter and feel this may be eerily similar, so for you pair of subscribers, I apologize for any repeat info. (This is what happens when there’s not a lot going on in a normal person/indie-author life.)

I don’t know what the deal is with this frigging title. Even after my crystal ball revealed the next few chapters, I still don’t know what to call it. Why?? WHY?!? It’s really starting to bug me. I can’t keep calling it “the story” or “Untitled.” That is beyond lame, and it’s really starting to bug me that I don’t have it yet. I’m five solid drafts into this thing, and true, it has changed quite significantly, especially in this latest rewrite, but even by now, I thought I would’ve had…something. Some shadow or idea for a title. SOMETHING. But there’s nothing. No bank of crappy titles that I can use just in case a better one doesn’t come along. I’ve got nothing.

I’m hoping it changes once I’m closer to being done. Not necessarily final draft/sending off to BETA readers—I’d kinda like it sooner than that—but it really is starting to freak me out. I should have it by now. UNLESS I haven’t written the passage from which I pull it (how I get my blog titles). Hoping that’s the case. I don’t know the title because I haven’t written it yet. Yeah, let’s go with that.

Other than waiting for my muse to assist, life is good. Work is good. Batman seems to be in great spirits, and it might be for our upcoming Orlando trip. Who knows? I don’t, and I don’t care—I’ll take it.

I’m keeping this short, because it’s all I’ve got this week, and I’ve already taken up three minutes of your time.

Hope you’re doing well and living life to the fullest. Life is too short to do it any other way.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

I’m Super Psyched #IWSG

Who’s got two thumbs and isn’t forgetting to post today?

This girl right here!

That’s right. Back-to-back weeks, baby. I’m almost on my normal routine again, and it’s probably because I hate feeling so guilty for missing a post. It sucks. I feel lame, and you lose your faith in me and my ability to keep up with things…so, I’d rather not do it. Hence, here I am. It’s April—and life is good.

Batman turned 35 on Saturday. He’s survived this long, so we decided to celebrate with a day at the fair. It was perfect weather—a breezy 60 degrees—and we ate fried-Oreos and rode overpriced rides and played games for stuffed prizes. It was awesome. Mostly the fried-Oreos part which made up for getting on the Ferris Wheel (heights, you know?) but he had a great time and that was the point. AKA mission accomplished.

Work is good. Every day I figure out how to do my job a little more so, that’s positive. And with that thin layer of anxiety slowly peeling off, I can focus more on writing.

I’ve been a little stuck lately, and completely attribute that to the new job. Honestly, I could handle both with equal focus, but throw in all the binge-worthy shows that Batman and I have been plowing through, and the entertainment-part of my brain wanted the treat. After a long day of learning things, I wanted to sit back and let someone else do the story telling. So, that’s what I’ve been doing.

But this past weekend, on a walk around the neighborhood, I focused on my story instead of letting my mind wander to the thousand other things it ping-pongs between, and I played through the upcoming scenes in my head, finally figuring out the next part. A main reason why I wasn’t dashing to my laptop every night was because I didn’t know what was coming next. (It’s a great side effect of being a panster.) But I focused, completely blocking everything out, and finally saw the next few scenes in my head. I know what I’m going to write now. And I’m super psyched!

Onto the optional IWSG question:

Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV, or add controversial topics to your works?

Wow, I’m boring. No, I don’t do any of those things. Not intentionally, at least. I just write to write. If something works, awesome. If it doesn’t, scrap it. I don’t really pay too much attention to the technique I’m using other than making sure it’s working for the story. And to be honest, I feel like anything I could come up with has probably already been attempted (multiple times) so I just write what works for me and the story I want to tell. Also, unless I’m passionate about the subject, I’ll steer clear of controversial topics.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

Like A Magic Trick

Look at me bumming again. I know—it’s becoming a problem. Yes, most of it is still due to this job WHICH I’VE KEPT FOR TWO MONTHS but Batman and I are quickly starting to become a binge-couple because neither of us have any self-control. He wants ice-cream; I say okay. I say we need candy for the movies; he suggests two boxes instead of one (provides variety, ya know?) So, when either of us find a show that’s even the *least* bit interesting, there goes everything else. We are committed. And we’ve been committed to a few series over the last few weeks because Amazon and Netflix know what’s up, and when they’re all available to stream… (Okay, yes, sometimes this does make me feel bad because it eats into my writing time. Boo! But it’s also time spent with Batman and Appa, and I will never regret spending time with my family.)

I’m saying all this because 1.) I missed last week’s post 2.) I feel bad about missing last weeks post but better owning up to it here, in today’s post 3.) it’s a good Segway into the shows we’ve binged/currently binging and maybe you’ll understand why I’ve been away from the keyboard.

Utopia – when the sequel to a cultishly-popular dark comic book surfaces, so does the main character of the story. Please watch this and let’s discuss. Please. Pretty please.

The Feed – everyone is connected to the internet through an implanted device, giving them instant access to everything, including a mysterious group of hackers with the ability to control people’s bodies. Also excellent, and also will discuss at length. Not even kidding.

Hunters – After his grandmother is killed, a young Jewish man joins a group of Nazi-hunters to help her mission of tracking down hiding Nazis. We are literally one episode in, so I hope this summary is correct.

So, yeah. I’m really proud of myself for getting this post written JUST KNOWING we have another episode of Hunters to watch. The trick is watching that, and then peeling myself from my oh-so-comfy-couch to go write in the office where there are no distractions. But, hopefully, I’ll call out to my muse loud enough to drown out thoughts of the show. It really is like a magic trick.

Well, that’s all for me this week. Still employed. Watching DeNiro kill Nazis. And getting as much writing in as possible. I should probably do something about my check engine light too…

Have a great week!

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

Maybe I’ll Be Less Distracted

I’m a bum. But I’m also a bum with a new job which is why I’m slacking right now. Yesterday was supposed to be my third newsletter. Have I written it? HA. I definitely will, but I’m sure the three people who actually read it (two?) aren’t slamming their fists, demanding it appear in their inbox. So, I don’t feel completely awful about missing it. Only mildly terrible, because it reflects poorly on me, and that just will not do.

But the job. There is one! And I’m still going to it every day, which is why I’ve been slow on the writing up-keep. I’ve also missed communicating in my writer groups and it’s not because I don’t want to or don’t have time—I’m just distracted. Hardcore distracted with all the feels of having a new job. The anxieties of learning: will I understand everything, and what if I don’t? I go through this tidal wave with every new job (and there have been plenty) so it’s odd to say, but I feel so used to this kind of anxiety that I’m not even really feeling it. Like, my nerves are there, but veteran-work-Caitlin is shooing them away, almost mocking their nativity. I’ll be fine. I know I will, because I’ve been fine at all my other jobs (enough to get bored/annoyed enough to leave) so I’ll get over that hump like I always do. It’ll probably be closer to late Summer, so until then, it’s learn-learn-learn to prepare for the training-wheel removal, and then maybe I’ll be less distracted.

Also: I’ve been on the same scene in (still) UNTITLED story for almost a week now. I just finished it last night, and am onto the next one, but Good Lord, that took forever. And surprisingly, it wasn’t a battle! But when I get stuck on a scene, it’s either because something isn’t working or there’s too much real life going on, and thankfully in this situation, it’s the latter.

So, there you have it—all the things happening with me. Oh, and I filed our taxes! Major adult points awarded here because after losing a job and getting married in 2020, I totally expected our turbo tax experience to be a nightmare. But it wasn’t! Actually waaayyy less painful than I thought, so I will take that blessing for sure.

Hope you’ve been well and have an easy (or had an easy) time doing your taxes. Sometimes, when you least expect it, life just gives you a break.

~ Lady Caitlin Signing off