Tuesday Tidbit

Ever have those days when you have a jumble of things on your mind that you have to sort out?  Yes, well it’s one of those days er, weeks actually.   I’ve been rather surprised by the overwhelming response for Love Notes.  Chapter 5 is posting today, if you are so inclined to  click over there and check it out!

This may cause me to rethink my stance on “Pantsing” my stories in the future.  Love Notes started as an impulsive inspiration.  (For the readers here’s a little insight into the  catacombs of how my mind works.  For the writers, the chambers vary but many are familiar with the process.)

What if?

The magical star stuff that fiction is made of.  During a conversation with a friend, I got the spark of an idea. One spark was all it took and I was off and writing.  I didn’t stop to plot things out until chapter 5.  So I suppose if y’all start commenting differently past chapter 5, maybe I should go back to pantsing.

The same sort of inspirational spark happened for Kiss of the Dragon. While having a conversation with my daughter, a reference was made about the ‘Dragon Complex’.  My eyes lit up, the gears clicked into place and my daughter said I got a strange, somewhat scary expression before I darted down the hall and began writing.  Seventeen pages later, I asked her to read it and tell me what she thought.

She glanced down at the pages – my masterpiece – and looked back up at me like I was crazy for expecting her to be able to read my furious scribblings. (OK, so my handwriting isn’t the best!)  From those seventeen pages it has blossomed into something much greater than I ever imagined. I’m discovering details as I go, and I am anxious for people to read it.

It’s sort of like the same satisfaction of preparing a great meal.  When everything comes together it looks, smells, tastes fantastic!  It may even sizzle.  Waiting with bated breath for the reaction of the person dining; the expression of satisfaction, the moan of delight.  Verbal praise or approval really isn’t necessary when you nail it!  You know, you just know when you hit the ball out of the park!

You can prepare the same meal a thousand times.  Sometimes it just doesn’t turn out right, but there’s the times when the family requests to have this again because it was that good.  Writing is like that on a much larger scale.  It takes time, a great deal of time to write a book.   I have the whole story completed inside my head.  Finding the time to get it down is frustrating at times.  I know though that I nailed it.

I cook our family meals, and I’m a darn good cook!  (Do you think I’d be overweight if I wasn’t?)  There are times when I surprise myself, both good and bad.  I’ve made the worst fried chicken I’ve ever attempted to eat – really it was bad.  Conversely I’ve made the best coconut cream pie I’ve ever had – as well as the others who inhaled it then asked for the recipe.  Here’s the down side to being a dump cook: when you tweak the recipes you don’t always write down everything you did. So I spent several months trying to reproduce exactly what I did to make the perfect pie.  Honestly, how much pie does one family need to consume?  Ahhh, but when I ‘happened’ on the perfect combination again –  I knew.  The expressions, the slow savoring over each bite told me.

I think I’ve nailed a  couple of my stories here.  I”m still working on them.  Trying to balance more writing time with family time, a job, a blog, and all those little unexpected things that come up.  Stick with me and I think you’ll like the finished project.

Which leads right into the part that I had planned for today’s post – editing.  After Editing Isn’t For Wimps, I received some emails and pms asking me how I edit.  I will share that part on Thursday.  It would make today’s post too long, and I’m sure everyone has other demands on their time just like I do.

I recommend you check out my friends over at  Storytime Trysts.  Free stories, who doesn’t like free?

Write on my friends, write on!

Selfish Summer

FAIL!  I was close, so very close.

Kids are home for the summer and I have not completed my self-imposed deadline.  Granted, this isn’t as bad as meeting my editor’s deadline or anything like that.  It just makes things more difficult.

Ever run a race? Or a marathon?  There are times when everything clicks and you run the best race you’ve ever ran in your life.  Then the next meet, something’s just off.  You give it your best, but you weren’t in the zone.  Sometimes, it’s just someone elses day to come in first place.

I am a little disappointed, but with other things that are going on right now, I’m not stressing over it.  PLEASE, someone remind me of this next time I turn into a complete spazz over minute details that really don’t matter.  Seriously, I mean it. Remind me of this.

Here’s the thing – you’ve got to set goals.  If you don’t know where the finish line is, how do you know when you’ve finished your race? You never grow if you don’t stretch yourself and try new things. LIfe in the box never changes.  I need change.

I failed in this deadline, but I haven’t given up and I’m not all that upset about it.  I’ve got some pretty cool things lined up for the summer.  I’ve got authors that I’m interviewing, going to guest post on other blogs, do a virtual blog tour, posting my story Love Notes on Storytime Trysts weekly, and a few other things as well.  I just finished an interview for a magazine – I’ll fill you in on that later. It’s going to be an amazing summer, an exhausting one maybe, but exciting.  On the fitness goals, our summer training camp begins on Monday.  I’ve got the girls onboard to improve their fitness as well as adapt healthy lifestyle changes.

Shooting for the stars and clearing the trees is still good. In a black and white world it’s a fail, but in a vivid Technicolor world it’s a win.  I’ve learned, I’ve accomplished work – productive work, and managed to clear out most of the distractions.  I pushed myself a little harder which tells me I’m capable of more.

I didn’t succumb to analysis paralysis, which has been a problem in the past.  I’ve stressed over it, pondered it, stepped back and looked at it ten different ways, but never actually tackled it.  Whatever the “it” may have been.  I tackled it full on this time!

thomas Edison stated that he didn’t fail 1999 times before discovering the lightbulb.  He figured out 1999 ways that it didn’t work. It’s all a matter of perspective. Mine has improved over the past few years.  Once I woke up, realizing that I’d given up on myself and my dreams I’ve determined to give it all I’ve got.  That doesn’t always translate to 100% effort in every minute.  In a matter of perceived exertion, you have to take into consideration many aspects.  In perceived exertion with all other factors of drag, resistance, momentum and whatever other factor you want to throw into the quantum equation, my perceived exertion was pegged at about 95%.  Hey what can I say?  Life happens and we have to deal with it.

I”m not going to break down because I failed at my goal.  It’s just training for my next race.  The only race I’m in is the one with myself, and I have to run the best race I can.  It’s only a true fail if I quit and walk away, and that’s not about to happen.  I hope that someone who reads this gets what I’m saying and looks at their own perspective.  I’m notoriously hard on myself, and I’m learning to cut myself a little slack and maybe accept a bit of praise now and then.  It’s much better than the negativity and condemnation I grew up with.

Yoda had great words of wisdom: “Do or do not.  There is no try.”

I did.  I gave it a good effort, and I’m happy with myself for that.

Dan Miller said this in a pod cast and it really hits home with me:

“If you do what everyone else expects, you’ll never be more than normal, mediocre and broke.”  

I’ve expressed many times how fed up I am with mediocrity.

Three months, nearly 90 days of summer, enough time to make a significant change.  What will you do with it?  Is there some area that you can challenge yourself in?  NaNoWriMo is having another even in June, you may want to check that out.  Is there a writing contest you can enter?  A query you can send?  A personal goal that you have for yourself in health, fitness, or wellness?  A new job you want to apply for? Are you brave enough to share publicly a goal you’ve set for yourself?

Why not do something for yourself this summer?  I’m calling it my Selfish Summer even though I’m inflicting it upon my kids.  Really they don’t have a choice, I’m drafting them. They’ll thank me for it later, maybe.

As Scarlett O’Hara once said “After all tomorrow is another day.”  I shall add “to write” to my version without the hoop skirt or tears.

Write on my friends, write on!