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

If It’s a Good Story, I’ll Read It # IWSG

I’m going to keep this one short. Mostly because there’s not a lot going on, but also because time got away from me again, and it’s already time to post this. So, might as well write it.

One thing I do have to mention—I went skeet shooting! And I did better than the nothing I assumed I would hit. Out of one hundred, I somehow—magically, MIRACULOUSLY—managed to hit twenty-nine, and I still have no idea how that happened. Still. Like, I’m thinking back on it, and it just doesn’t make sense, because I still don’t know what combination of awesome moves combined to make that possible. But it did, so I’m happy. If you’re wondering what Batman got, just know that he’s a hunter, so he put the rest of our small group to shame. Any guesses? Yeah. Level-kill status. He clocked in at ninety-one clays hit. Yeah. At least I know he’ll protect us in the zombie-apocalypse. And, isn’t that what finding your soul mate is all about?

Onto the IWSG optional question:

Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you’ve create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

I do enjoy reading romances more, but I’m interested in good stories. I don’t care of it’s a crime or thriller or mystery or women’s fiction—whatever genre it is, if it’s a good story, I’ll read it. I gravitate towards romance more because I prefer that kind of happiness. I’m not one for scary or creepy, but again, if it’s a good story, hand it over. I want to read it. Whatever it is. Yes. Let’s do it.

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.

Everyone enjoy your week! The end of the world could be right around the corner, so practice your skeet shooting (or any shooting) just in case. I mean, you never know.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This

Before you ask, I had a great Valentine’s Day. Most of it was spent doing laundry and dishes and checking on Batman who spent a majority of the day in bed due to a slip on Saturday. That’s right. Even the caped crusader himself slips on wet pavement and goes down to the ground hard. Like ouch hard. For most people, this would be at most a painful and somewhat embarrassing event. But Batman has had three back surgeries, so his pain was a little more intense, and lasted longer—pretty much halfway through Sunday which kept him in bed. But he’s okay now. Mostly. Just like the rest of humanity.

So how was your Valentine’s Day? Did you celebrate it? Did you not? I usually don’t ask these questions because I don’t care, because it’s not a real holiday, but since someone signed us up to participate this year, I guess I’ll bite. Tell me of all the holiday things you did. Besides laundry and dishes, we celebrated with small gifts to show how we feel about one another.

Batman’s gifts to me:

My gift to Batman:

As you can see, we love each other to the point of profanity and pop-culture, which I think is the only real way to love someone. There might have been chocolate involved as well, but only because Mamabear mentioned dipped strawberries, and also, most Russell Stover candy boxes are ten bucks or under, so, like, win for the affluently-challenged.

Seriously though, I hope everyone had a great Sunday. And Saturday. And Tuesday. And childhood. I hope everyone had a great childhood. All my hopes and positive vibes for you are year-round and apply to your past, but mostly your future. I’m still employed, Batman’s feeling better, and I love my bracelet and my sexy as sin Handerpants.

It doesn’t get much better than this.

~ Lady Caitlin Signing Off

My Personal Goal

It’s Wednesday again, and I’m pleased to report that I am still employed. That’s right. I’ve proven myself for a week and a half at this point, and even though the water-machine and I got into it, I think I’ve secured myself a position with this company. We’ll see if my employee tag ever makes it in and also, if they dump a little money in my account on Friday—I feel like that will definitely seal the deal that this is reality, and I’m not still stuck in land of unemployment.

Oh, to be in the workforce again, and to feel the familiar sting of stress and anxiety!

It’s actually not terrible and I hope it continues to not be terrible, but only time will tell. I don’t want to say too much, but I will say that there’s this gong that gets hit at least once a day and I am DETERMINED to hit that thing at some point. I know what it takes even though I’m obviously still learning how to get there, but I’m going to hit that gong before the year is out. This is my personal goal. I’m very excited about the paydays and PTO and 401k company match all and, but I am now OBSESSED with hitting that gong which I am sure will start to annoy me after a while. Or maybe not? Maybe it’ll be the motivation I need to hit the darn thing. I don’t know, but it’s all very exciting.

Writing-wise, I’m still deep into my re-write, but it’s coming along nicely. Slowed down a bit the past week due to the new job, but I cranked out a bunch over the weekend which means I’m still solidly into this new direction and in fact, I’m going to jump back in that document here in a moment when I’m finished with this one. But I prioritized you first, because I care. Honestly, I should work on my second newsletter next, but I still have a week. And a weekend between now and then, so, there you go.

I feel like I’ve said everything I need to for this week. Probably more to report next Wednesday, because that’ll be the post after Valentine’s Day, and I’m excited to see what mystery gift Batman keeps teasing me with. Seriously, we never do this holiday and now he has “gifts.” The first was the Handerpants—you remember. And this second one…who knows? But, I DID break down and get him something, and let me just say—it’s badass, and by extension, so am I.

We’ll go over that more next week. That’s all for now.

Have a great one!

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

#IWSG – An Awesome Idea to Me

There’s not a ton of news on my end (good thing?) so let’s dive right into the Insecure Writers Support Group question, which I *did* remember to post on time this month.

Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

Aw man, I was so erratic in the beginning of my blogging days, and I’d say up to about four years ago, I barely remembered I had a blog. I posted whenever I thought about it, which means I didn’t participate in the great blogosphere culture. Sadly, this post exposes me because I’m still not embracing it to the point that I could be, but I’m getting better and making interaction more of a goal. Honestly, the internet scares the crap out of me because with all the psychos and trolls polluting, I’m hesitant to make friends. But I have made a few who I’m pretty sure aren’t psychos because by now I think I’d have picked up on some things. Maybe? I guess time will tell.

There’re no do-overs with the past—nor should there be—so I can’t change that I lingered in the blogosphere for five to six years and didn’t actually participate. But, I can change what I do going forward, which is develop the few friendships I actually have maintained (vetted to be not psychos) and embrace new friends (hopefully not psychos) so that I surround myself with people who understand and can empathize with what I’m going though writing-wise, and maybe even more that that. Sounds like an awesome idea to me.

Okay, 2021. I’m ready. Let’s do this.

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

P.S. Also, this should be the third day I’m working at my new job if 2021 continues being the awesome year that it is. Woo-hoo for awesome new years!

Let’s Keep This Going

I got my first Valentine’s Day present:

I say first, because Batman said he’s getting me several things, and if this where the bar has been set, then I’m ready to go. Let’s do this Valentine’s Day. (I should note, I have literally *nothing* planned to give to him because unlike him, I am not straying from the no-gifts-other-than-maybe-the-good-chocolate rule that we’ve been respecting for almost a decade now.) But he surprised me with these, and I have to say, I’m in love. (I should also note, I’ve already left them at a friend’s house after modeling them, so do with that information as you will.)

I came very close to missing this post because I kept putting it off, but I only did that because I’m busy rewriting like a MOFO, since once of my beta readers made a comment that caused an absolute epiphany on what I’m doing wrong with my story—and what I could be doing better. So, if you’re one of the few who’ve read my “first draft” of my *still untitled story* my apologies. You were not given the real story, and for that, I will banish my house elf.

The bones are still there, but I’m practically rewriting a majority of the story. But hey, that’s the process. Sometimes you need a little feedback to know you’re been looking at something all wrong. And no, this wasn’t just one comment and magically, I bent the knee to her suggestions. Writers (should) take all critiques with a grain of salt, but this was something echoing in my head that turned into a scream once she brought it up. Even though I don’t have a clear vision of exactly how everything will happen, that doesn’t stop a panster. I’ll figure it out. And I have been, because I’ve already written the first eight chapters, including new POVs.

Yeah, 2021. Let’s keep going, baby. I have my handerpants, a better angle on writing my untitled book, and a new job I’m starting on Monday. Ah, it shall be nice to receive a paycheck again whilst contributing to society, although I feel like I do that every time I walk into Walmart.

This is going to be a good year, guys. I can feel it. And in case you’re wondering (which I know you are) my first newsletter went out without a hitch, meaning—and I can’t stress this enough—I’m not completely stupid with technical things. Still stupid, but I’ll give myself a break since I only went through two or three glasses of wine trying to set up Mailerlite—and it worked!

If you want to sign up, there should be a pop-up at some point. But if that doesn’t happen, let me know and I’ll add you manually, because, I know how to do that.

*dusts off shoulder*

Well, I’m done being lame for today, so until we meet next Wednesday for the IWSG post, enjoy your weekend! I will be, as it shall be my last one before returning to the work force.

God help me.

~ Lady Caitlin Signing off

More Similarities Than Differences

Before we go any further, there’s something I have to say:

Happy eleventh birthday to my only but *favorite* nephew. You are weird as hell, and you annoy the crap out of my sister (like I use to) so please never-ever change. Even when people call you out for being animated and different, remind them that Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy and Jim Carey exist(ed), and then tell them to go fuck off (when you’re old enough).

I’m going to keep this post short because 1) Here comes Wednesday again, sneaking up like it always does, ninja-ing its way out of nowhere after Sunday, and as I’m writing this, it’s already Tuesday night, so there’s not a lot of brain functioning left and 2) I’m like 99% sure nobody cares about this post since it’s the inauguration, and most don’t come here for my political commentary. Which is good, because it’s not really my thing, especially since I believe George Orwell knew what the hell he was talking about. That should tell you everything you need to know on where I stand, and why I don’t post certain thoughts (you know, just in case they’re the wrong ones) because that is the terrifying society we live in today, folks.

Short post. No political thoughts contributed (sans the tiny one above). Only solid prayers that people breathe, and remember we share more similarities than differences.

We’re all human beings. Let’s try for love and peace and acceptance, huh? I promise, it’s worked in the past.

~ Lady Caitlin signing off

P.S. Your present’s in the mail, TJ. I just have to actually go send it first.