An Update

Hello everyone. Long time, no chat. I know, I really should post more often but I did post a warning about my time being eaten by school, work, and kids.

So remember when I said I was going back to school in hopes that it would help me improve my writing? Well, I have managed to learn a few things.

  1.  I prefer writing for myself instead of my class and my teachers.
  2. I have to unlearn how to simplify.
  3. Teachers seem to want long exploratory paragraphs and information dumps rather than just sticking to the point.

Number 3 somewhat baffles me. I mean, part of me understands. They want to A_picture_is_worth_a_thousand_wordsknow that you really know what you are talking about. Maybe I have learned to simplify too much? I used to read books that warned against information dumps in stories. I am beginning to fear I fixed something that wasn’t broken and now I have to unfix it.

I have to go to work in a few minutes and I have an exam tonight so that’s all for now. I just wanted to let people know I am still alive and my hiatus from my blog is only temporary. My posts may be irregular but they will still happen from time to time.

Just another Monday

John_George_Brown_-_Sleeping_angelI met this Monday morning slowly and with heavy eyes. I was awake before the sun but refused to get out of bed, hoping for a few last minutes of sleep that never came. I don’t really dread Mondays. It is just that there is so much to do on them. It seems like all of the things I was unable to accomplish from Friday just swell until the wave of errands breaks over me on Monday.

I’ve accomplished three tasks already, four if you count taking a shower. (I am not above padding the number of my accomplishments where I can. Especially if it helps me get motivated.) I fetched paperwork I need to fax off, found and acquired coffee, then took the trash down to the curb because it is collection day. All mundane tasks that have nothing to do with writing.

As far as writing goes, I’ve not done much. I checked my email and discovered another rejection slip. After that I showed up here to write a blog post. I really didn’t feel like writing this morning, but it is Monday so here I am.

I showed up. It isn’t much but they say 75% of writing is showing up to the computer even when you don’t want to. (I made that number up. There is a percent that is routinely quoted but I don’t remember what it is right now. 75% sounds about right to me.)

I have a long list of tasks that need to be accomplished today. I will be very surprised if I vintage_childrens_reading_collection_poster-re1e1e6aba9b4490db9a80226b548ae57_26gc_400
get to them all. Many of them are boring things that take me out of the house and out among people I don’t want to talk to. However, if I am good and get at least half of my list done then I will reward myself by reading a book.

My daughter and I went to the Georgia Renaissance festival yesterday and I am longing to read a good fantasy novel. I am still tired, a little sore, and a little sunburned but it was worth it. We had a great time. Maybe I will write a fantasy story too.

A Hard Day’s Write

This is the third time I have sat down to write this morning’s post. For some reason it is more difficult that usual. Words are hard. They don’t want to pour from my fingertips right now. Instead I have to siphon each and every one and my fingers on the keyboard feel large and awkward.

I am still writing. It has taken me three tries, but I am covering the glaring white page. The progress is slow but each word is another small step forward.

Sometimes writing is like that. Sometimes it flows and sometimes it only trickles. It is still important to show up at the keyboard and pound those words out, even when it is almost painful to do so. If I give up just because it is hard, then I don’t deserve the days when it comes easy.

The muse is lazy. She doesn’t always show up. Sometimes you just have to write without her.

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A Morning Moment

I didn’t think I would have time for a blog post this morning. I rolled out of bed less than ten minutes ago and already there is a long list of things to be accomplished today. I thought my blog just might be one of those things toward the bottom that I didn’t get to cross off.

Then I let the dog out to do his business. As his tiny paws padded down the front steps, I tossed the stray cats a scoop of dry food.(Yes, I know. That is why they keep coming around, but I have a hard time letting anything go hungry.) I stood back up from my furry soup kitchen and was caught in the face by a breeze. It teased me with the coming of rain.

Instead of calling the dog and going back inside to start my busy day, I sat down on the steps and took a moment. I felt the cool air and breathed in damp promises. I listened to the sighing of the trees and just enjoyed the quiet dark. I was only a moment. Just one tiny stolen fraction of my day. But it filled me up with peace.

Taking time out for those stolen moments is something I don’t do enough of. It is necessary though. That time increment of time listening to the stories of the wind will carry me through the rest of the day.

 

 

Running in place

catnapIt feels as if sleep is a luxury, one I decadently wallow in when I can get it. However, too often it is beyond my reach. There is always something else that needs to be done so sleep gets pushed to the back burner. Thanks to my wonderful, loving mother, I was able to sleep hours and hours yesterday. She stayed over an extra day to take care of the kids so I could sleep.

It is morning now and that means lunches to pack, kids to wake, and cats to feed. Once the kids are at school, I have a porch to paint and a garden to plant. There is laundry to do, there is always laundry to do, and kids to pick up from school.

Then there will be homework to help with and dinner to start. Life never stops and rarely slows down. If I am not kept busy at home there is always work waiting at my night job. And lets not forget writing. That gets squeezed in too, usually in the mornings over a cup of coffee or tea.

Writing is the thing I want to do. The rest all has to be done. It is a hard juggling act.

When snoopyI get time to write I need to take greater advantage of that time and make the most of it. With my recent book of short stories available for sale and a new short story in the final editing, I feel like I am making progress on this crazy dream. I just need to get a few more of those works in progress into the completed file.

Beware The Writer/ My Ego

coffee mugThere are  times when being a writer goes to my head. Like this morning for example. My daughter has a big test today and asked if I would take her by a coffee shop before school. Since coffee sounded good to me too I agreed. So I dropped my son of at his primary school and took my daughter out for caffeine.

Yes, I know. Some of you are saying that is  horrible parenting, but there is  more sugar than caffeine in her drink. It is like glorified chocolate milk. She thinks she is drinking coffee and feels adult, while I con her into eating breakfast which is really what wakes her up. (Shhh that is parental trickery.)

Anyway, the line at the drive through was roughly 140,000 cars long so I decided to go in. My hair was pulled back in a pony tail and I was wearing sweats because it was chilly this morning. I originally had no plans of getting out of the car. I was just going to drop the kids off and come home to work in the garden.

(Before I continue, I should  mention that I have worked as a barista before. I understand what it is like on the other side of the counter. I did it for years.)

So I walked inside and I am the third person in line. Waiting patiently, I pick out the food I am going to order and watch the antics of the a very enthusiastic child in line ahead of me. Then suddenly it is my turn and I order, pay, leave a tip, and step to the side to await my food and drink.

Usually, they go over and bag up the food first. Instead the young man took the next person in line. Which I was okay with because it is Monday morning and all. People need their coffee or tea. Fifteen minutes later my drinks were ready at the other counter but I still hadn’t received my food.

I watched the young man rush around and prepare things for the other customers who came after me. I tried to catch his eye but he refused to look up. That was when I started to get annoyed.

In my head I was having a conversation along the lines of: Yes I am dressed down. If you give me my stuff I will leave! I have work to do. Oh no you did not just ignore me! You do not realize who you are dealing with my young man! Do you want that receding hair line immortalized forever in words?…tumblr_mlkf0pWOiX1s0x8bxo1_500

It went like that for another few minutes until I came to the realization that I sounded  like Chaucer from the movie A Knight’s Tale. Fortunately, a nice young lady came up and asked if she could be of assistance so I got my food and my daughter to school on time, even if she had to eat a bit hurriedly.

The saying is: “Writer’s get their revenge in print.”

I will not say I have never written people who have ticked me off into a story. Those annoying people are a valuable resource for a writer because they bring out strong emotions that translate to page and then to the reader. However, not  even that person’s mother would recognize them in my prose, because it is more that I write the feeling of them rather than the actual person. Writer’s draw on personal experience. That means both the good and the bad.

I even have a t-shirt that offers a disclaimer. It warns: “Be careful or you could end up in my novel.”

P.S.

For those interested, here is the quote from the character Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale.

“I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity.”~ Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale

A Delay due to too much fun

Well, it is Monday. There should have been a post here this morning but it hasn’t been written yet. This isn’t the post either. This is a public service announcement to tell everyone that there will be a post forth coming, but at the moment I am recovering from Con-lag.

This weekend the kids and I took a trip up to Wizard World Comic Con in Raleigh, North Carolina. We had a really good trip. More details with be forth coming but at the moment I have to find a cup of coffee and then take my son to the doctor.  Con-lag is taking the form of a fever with him and I am hoping it isn’t Con-crud instead.