#IWSG – We’ll Get Out of This Okay

I have no idea what day it is. I’m pretty sure it’s Monday because I’m writing this for Wednesday since last Wednesday I totally spaced because I thought it was Tuesday because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT DAY IT IS. Oh yeah, pandemics are *super* fun.

I’ve been working from home for a week now…and it’s definitely…something. I don’t have kids, so I don’t have to balance the daycare/workload, but my 5-year-old GSP makes it interesting with whining and requested games of fetch twice an hour. Half the time I ignore him, half the time I give in because there are natural breaks in the day at the office, and if I were to bring Appa with me, it’s probably what I would be doing in lieu of using the restroom or chatting with a coworker. Appa is very demanding.

Since I’ve been (we’ve all been) ordered to remain inside, I’m surprisingly getting a LOT of writing done. It’s surprising because many authors and artists have mentioned their distraction with COVID-19, along with having kids home and unusual schedules which have clogged their creativity. I’m definitely keeping up with the end of times, and yeah, it’s looking pretty doom and gloom out there, but I’m really enjoying this 2-3 hour block I have to write in the morning curtesy of my job cutting my hours. It sucks, but what can you do? You find the silver lining and make the most out of it. Am I excited to be getting this smaller paycheck (and possibly more) during the year of my wedding? Bitch, please. Am I excited that this draft that I started in NOVEMBER 2018 is finally almost over? Heck yeah! I’ve got another 2-3 chapters to write but if we keep going at this pace, I’ll finish by the end of April 😊

Things are changing every day, so it’s hard to look ahead to what the landscape of this year will look like. I’m still remaining positive. Everyone I love is healthy and accounted for, and although there is a rotten stench of depression and loneliness wafting, I think we’ll get out of this okay. More time spent with families reestablishing friendships and relationships and creating art. Sure, we’ll all be broke ass poor at the end of it, but when has that stopped us before?

IWSG April Question:

The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. In this time, when our world is in crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, how are things in your world?

Please see above. Also, I found toilet paper! And not just the one-ply-crap Walmart was rationing. It was the good stuff: Cottonelle. See, there is a silver lining 😊

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.

IWSG – Ultimate Victory for a Pantser

I actually had an entire other post all ready to go. Then I looked at the calendar and thought, well shit.

Somehow, March snuck up. How—I honestly ask you—HOW is it the first Wednesday of the month? Isn’t that like, in two more weeks? Wow, this whole life thing is zooming by. Okay, so, I will leave my post of woes and longings or whatever I wrote about for Friday or at some point in the future, and focus on the good stuff you’re probably here to read about: the writing stuff. And there is some good stuff there 😊

GUYS. I (sort of) have the rough outline of how the rest of RTD will end. This is HUGE because it’s not all jumbled separate events in my head bumping in to each other without fitting. It took a lot of sitting and staring at my keyboard and sometimes out the window, which I always think is a waste, but if you’re a pantser, I guess it’s just part of the process. I know the basic idea of how one event will lead to the next and the next, which means I’ve dusted off the map. I have some visibility with where I’m going and how I’m getting to the end. Ultimate victory for a pantser!

Since that is my only writing news—and what awesome news it is—onto the IWSG optional question:

Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

I really want the answer to this to be yes. It would make me so much cooler, but I can’t think of any weird or unique traditions that I or my family have, let alone put into my books. There are traits that I pull from, definitely, but no customs or traditions that I can think of. Huh. Interesting question, IWSG. This one’s got me thinking.

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.

If You Love Somebody’s Art – Go Tell Them

“Thank you so much for creating a wonderful universe.”

This is a message I received about my Arizal Wars series. Now that I’ve stopped ugly-sobbing over it, I can write coherently about how you should never give up on your dreams because *amazing* things like this happen. (And yes, this is freaking amazing. Can I get an amen from all my authors out there?)

The message comes from an original and loyal fan—one Batman found back when he did his stint teaching (for the record, he is brilliant, and can teach kids super hard math and history, but the common core system is beyond eye-rolling, and he could only take so much bullshit). Anyway, during his limited teaching years, he “pimped” my series (not in a threatening kind of way. More like, ‘oh you like to read? My girlfriend writes books’ kind of way) because, why not? It’s YA/NA, and students are the richest resource there is. And one magical student bit, and since then, she has asked about the series through every drought it’s embraced. She reached out when I was writing BTT, and a year before when I decided to take a break. I’ve probably even posted about not giving up because of one of her messages asking when the next book will be out.

This is what we need. It’s not reassurance—it’s a reminder.

If you love somebody’s art—GO TELL THEM.

I would *love* to tell Betty Smith how freaking awesome A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is. Every time I finish it, I flip it over, stare at the jacket, stare at her name, and wonder how I can somehow summon her from the dead just so I can fangirl over all the feels her book gives me every time I read it. Seeing as that’s sadly impossible, I’ve considered contacting her family. This is a legit idea I’ve tossed around and may one day pursue, but do they care if I like their mother’s/aunt’s/grandmother’s book? Not unless it comes with royalties, so why bother? I just want to shout at someone from that family how that book has affected me—but it won’t mean a thing to them. The only one who would understand is Betty Smith, which is why I need to summon her. Grr.

Maybe I’ll meet her in the afterlife—wherever that is—and I can fangirl over her there. In the meantime, I have to give a shout out to Sarah! Thank you for believing in (and continually asking about) this series. It truly makes a difference 😊

Seriously Though – Man in The High Castle

…I’ve been slacking.

I blame Man in the High Castle. If it wasn’t cocaine-addictive like every other show I mention, then maybe—MAYBE—I would’ve gotten a bunch more writing down over the last *cough* week or two *cough* instead of the –maybe—one to two pages I’ve written.

I also blame the wedding.

Wait.

That was a little much. Let me rephrase:

The best day ever is requiring a lot of my creative attention and Pintrest is a thing, so I shouldn’t wonder where all my time has been going.

Still. Even though I usually write at least a little every day (although I’ve been giving myself a day off here and there) I feel like I haven’t moved the story along as much as I should’ve, or wanted to. In my defense, there have been A LOT of battle scenes which take FOREVER to write, but that’s not my fault. Every time we get past a fight sequence, I hope my characters will calm down and give me some dialogue or something. They do, but then someone else attacks or a new enemy arrives and it’s back to the scenes that take FOREVER. It’s really my character’s fault. That’s what I’m getting at. I’m only the vessel, and I work better when they’re not in the middle of a shit storm. But this is the final book, and the whole thing is a unified attack/invasion on one planet—I should’ve expected the shit storm.

Anyway, just wanted all my excuses listed so I don’t feel as bad about my lazy work ethic. But that’s how it goes. Sometimes you work a lot; sometimes it’s a little. As long as some work gets done, I won’t feel like complete crap about myself and my (non-existent) writing career.

Seriously though—Man in the High Castle. Go watch. Please. And let’s discuss how shitty the world would be if we lost WWII. I could barely get through French. Don’t think I’d make it if I had to speak German or Japanese. And according to MITHC, that will just not fly.

And also: Joe Blake is really cute 😊

Dream Big, Right? IWSG

Well, my car is squeaking now. Or squealing. Or screaming. Noise. It’s making a loud screechy noise that even Freddy Mercury can’t tune out.  I discovered it the other day, after hearing the annoying sound and feeling sorry for whoever was driving the crappy car. Turns out it was me. I’m the crappy car girl (which has been obvious for a while) but I don’t need a shame bell announcing it everywhere I go. No one needs to see that Georgie has missed a few washes or that her paint is about fourteen years faded. It’s fine, except now she’s got a target on her back, which means I should stop breaking the law and slow down. Brakes also sound a little off. I should really think about getting a new car.

*sigh*

So, someone at work called me a “cog” the other day. He was introducing a new employee and referred to me as a “cog in the machine” which immediately made me think of Into the Badlands (ever watch it? You should!) and how the Widow started out a cog before working her way up to a Barron, which I started explaining, but they walked off and I was left mumbling to myself. I only mention it because I can’t get the phrase out of my head. “Cog in the machine.” I’m not sure if I’m offended or angered or what. He didn’t say it with any malintent or to be rude or bitter. There was absolutely nothing negative in his description, which was what it was: a basic description of my role in the company: a cog. A fucking cog. That’s what I am in every cubicle.

It may have hit home because I thought I would’ve graduated from cog by now, but, apparently not. It’s okay. Because once I make it big, I’m going to write an autobiography and call it, “Who’s the Fucking Cog Now” and send him a copy. Just so he knows I’m okay.

This segways perfectly into IWSG’s December (optional) question:

How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. But who doesn’t fantasize about the future? This is what I’ve got so far:

Batman would come on my book tours with me since we’re travel bugs, and so he can coach and support me on public speaking, since it’s right up there with my love of spiders and small spaces. That would be the tough part. The talking to a group of people and not fainting, but I would get through it. (Xanax may be required)

Other than that, I would have an amazingly loyal fan-base to support the books I want to write. And there might even be a movie deal in the works. Why not? Dream big, right? Honestly, the dream is to be able to write fulltime. Wake up, coffee, write. Walk the neighborhood, write, lunch. Write, laundry, dinner, write. The rest are just details.

What about you? What does it look like when you make it big? Ever been called a cog before? And is your car on its way to hospice like mine?

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.

Good Times and Pinched Skin

Raise your hand if you’re dumb.

*raises hand*

If you’ve read this blog for even the last few weeks, you’ll know my level of intelligence rests somewhere around not knowing which knob to turn for AC in the car and nearly passing out because of it. It’s also the same intelligence that’s led me into establishments with my clothes on inside-out and mispronouncing *longitude my entire life until Batman looked at me like I had to be joking. But I wasn’t. Because, yeah…I can be dumb.

But this particularly unintelligent moment occurred on Sunday morning after checking the closet for Christmas presents. These were ones I bought, and I wanted to remind myself of the awesome gifts I’ll be giving because yes, I’m that person. Maybe since I was congratulating myself on a job well done, the universe took a moment to slap some humility into me because when I closed the closet door—because I’m dumb—I closed it on my arm.

And it PINCHED THE EVERY-LOVING SHIT OUT OF ME.

It’s one of those closet-bending-doors and my skin got caught at just the right time. I don’t even think I screamed. I gasped, threw my good hand over whatever mutilated stump I had left and held on. Like, I’m either really pain intolerant (despite having four tiny tattoos…) or I’ve just discovered a new physical fear, so, watch out characters! Guess what I’m throwing at you next. You thought tiny spaces, whips and deep-water exploration were bad! Muahaha! But seriously, ouch ☹

Writing:

I’ve been writing the same night in my WIP for a couple of weeks. Mind you, it started at a pre-evening (4-5) timeframe, and is currently pushing past midnight. And my main characters are being invaded, so this battle is taking a while, but I’ve just about reached the part that’s going to ignite the climax and then, the second part of the book will be done!

*wipes brow*

Then the third and final section will remain, and that one will be a beast. I can’t even think about it right now. I’m too focused on my key players and the rough outline in my head of what’s supposed to happen in this second section. I’ve jotted down some notes (as in wrote a brief paragraph at the end of the same work document) and refer to that from time to time. But, it’s how I write all my books, and the process hasn’t let me down yet.

Once I’m finished with the third section (next March/May-ish?) I’ll breathe a brief sigh of relief… and then I’ll have to plunge back into the thing from the start. Round two – in my opinion- is always worse than round one.  But that’s all then. And we’re still here, in the present, and I’m almost finished with section two! Woop! Good times and pinched skin: it’s all I’ve got for you this post.

Until our next Wednesday date 😊

*I’ve been pronouncing it long-di-tude. I kid you not. It’s what I was taught in seventh grade geography and I’ve never questioned it. And yes, I’m from Florida. Not that that has to do with anything.

Write the Books and Find the Readers

I missed last week because I spent the majority of it re-reading Rozmarie & Josiah. 😊 I know, rude to ditch on our date, but silly me thought I was going to just submit the book to fresh.ink without even looking it over. Rookie mistake. It dawned on me somewhere a few paragraphs in that it was *probably* a good idea to look over the story, and, well, I did.

All last week. I read every day as soon as I got home, and FINALLY on Sunday, I finished the thing. Because, I didn’t just read. I re-edited it as I went, and apparently, I missed some major typos and errors first go around. Am I going to win the contest? Probably not, but that’s okay. It’s slightly more polished, and I’m not so nervous about turning in a total piece of crap to these would-be-potential readers.

Because that’s my goal: FIND THE READERS

That, and write the books. But I feel both are equally important. Write the books and find the readers. Someone want to make me a banner I can hang above my window? I only have broken Christmas lights and an awesome writing picture my mom got me last year  (thanks, ma! Still love it!). For all the curious/stalkers:

There’s a perfectly good blank space right there. I could put a big plaque: Write the Books and Find the Readers. I feel like that’s all I need in order to break free from cubicle hell to write independently. A product I turn out to customers eagerly awaiting it. Speaking of…I really need to get back to MailChimp and figure out the whole newsletter thing. Where is my team of smart people to do this for me? Urrg. I wish parts of my brain weren’t so dumb, like the kind that deals with technology and understanding things that can’t be explained to a ten-year-old.

In better, simpler, easier news, I have a driver’s-side door handle! Look at it! Look at it in all its glory and magnificent awe:

It’s been very nice these few rainy days not having to run around the car like an idiot. I can go straight to one side and only be half-soaked instead of fully-soaked. Life is good 😊 I really do need to retire Georgie at some point, but until she completely craps out on me, she’s still my girl. And with her latest upgrade, I think she’s earned herself another year or so. That, or until something else vital falls off, or she retires to her days of seizuring which, if I’m being honest, are the most exciting.

Things to do:

  • Research Mailchimp. Again. Don’t get confused and distracted and decide no one cares so it’s not even worth it. And stop playing on your phone.
  • Be more social (stalk more) and keep putting my stuff out there.
  • Probably buy another car
  • Laundry

There’s more to the list, but I’m tired, so this will have to do. Back to writing RTD and reading other people’s books. And guys, I can FINALLY say I feel like I’ve tipped past the halfway point in RTD. I think I said this a while ago, but I mean it for realizes this time. And that means good things are coming. Good things 😊

Have a great week!