To write a book…

charlie-chaplin-392926_1280When I was in school I hated American History. I thought it was boring. I thought that since other countries had been around so much longer, they were obviously much more interesting.

Now that I am older, I am no longer so excluding. For the past few weeks I’ve been focused on the American Civil War. My attention was peaked last year when I did some family history research. It was more recently that I received a book of local ghost stories that pinged that interest again.

Then I spoke with another writer who I greatly admire. I told him that I had been thinking about writing a book that takes place during the civil war. I recounted what I had found out about my family, and he said: That sounds like a good place to start. Why don’t you?

That “Why don’t you?” Has been echoing around the empty cavern of my skull for weeks.

I tried to use the excuse, “Well, life has so many changes going on right now, with the new job and going back to school…”

My inner writer answered with, “You don’t work on the weekends and part of your degree is going to be in History anyway.”

Then the dragon of self doubt raised its head and said, “Do you really think you can find anime_dragon_1024x768-634320the time to write a book? Look how well that has worked in the past. You have three unfinished novels sitting on your computer right now. And remember that rejection letter. The one that hit the mark so well.”

The dragon almost got me. Then I remembered the rejection letter it was reminding me of was the catalyst I needed to pull up my boots and march back to school. The three unfinished novels reminded me that my current way of writing isn’t working very well and I need to try something new. (Not that those three will never be finished. Two are honestly in a rewrite stage but I changed things and got stuck in the muddle in the middle. Then proceeded to wallow in the muck.)

So now, with so many things already on my plate and with so many new challenges to face, I find myself stacking yet another task on top. I’m going to write a book. Sanderson Quote-800wi

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Changes come to Camelot

Hello everyone. I’ve been slacking a bit lately when it comes to blog posts. The truth is life
has been full of changes recently, which has left my mind foggy. It is hard to pick one thing to write about when there is so much going on and it is even harder when you are smack dab in the middle of all the changes that are happening.

Change is one of the constants in life. Things always change. Today is a big day for change too. Today I say good bye to the best boss I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for. She is off to greener pastures (and hopefully better pay).

It isn’t good bye forever of course. It is just the boss/employee part of our life journey has come to an end. Now, I hope we will stay connected as friends.

There will be more at a later date of the other changes going on in my life, but for the moment I will leave you with a poem that pretty much sums up how I am feeling.castle-195105_1280

Camelot Falls

By Tammi A. Miller

Camelot has fallen

Mordred is at the gate

The table is now splintered

And our lives left up to fate

Our Royal leader must depart

To travel Avalon’s golden shores

We are knights without direction,

Boats who have come unmoored

We will not long stay adrift

Using knowledge our leader taught

Yet a bit of worldly good is gone

Such a truth can not be fought

Our banner has been trampled

The staff broken by unnamed foes

The colors stained and tarnished

Our morale crushed by heavy blows

We still have our beaten armor

And with it, weapons sharp

We can battle by strength and mind

Though what we lack is heart

We are without a sovereign true

Without a mentor to guide the path

We must choose all on our own

How to miss mistake’s quick lash

Camelot has fallen

Mordred is at the gate

The table is now splintered

And our lives left up to fate.

Cutting Back On Distractions

pocket watchThis is the beginning of a brand new week. It is roughly two weeks until Libertycon, I have my new short story out, several more in the works, and a lot of work ahead for all the hats I wear.

As a mom I will be venturing into the waters of homeschooling my rising 5th grader. As a writer I need to focus on getting more of my stuff finished, polished, and out there. As an employee I need to find away to balance all the work we have to do at night and my sanity. As a gardener I need to learn the difference between a garden and a jungle.

(That last one is for real. I just planted a simple, small square of ground. I didn’t even expect it to grow. I kind of just tossed seeds in the ground, covered them up, watered them, and left it alone. On occasion I water the plants some more. Then I leave for one weekend and when I come back pumpkin vines with leaves the size of elephant ears have started creep over the back yard.)

The point is since I have the same 24 hours as everyone else, and no one seems to be stickfigureselling extra sand for the hour glass. I need to cut back on some things so I can concentrate more on others. Finding these “things” is easy enough. I am a known procrastinator. Facebook and “checking email” are probably the main two ways I waste time on the computer, so I will start cutting back there. I will still visit facebook, twitter, and my inbox but I will be cutting down the amount of time I spend snared in the web.

I only post here once a week usually, so there won’t be any changes here. Maybe I will even be more on time with those Monday posts. Wish me luck. 🙂

Thursday Is Not Monday, but here is a post

whats-your-storyIt is currently 6 a.m. on a November Thursday morning. I missed Monday’s post again. It is getting more and more difficult to post on my work week.

I may have to go down to two posts a month rather than one every week. That is something I will have to consider later. Right now it is November so that means it is Nation Novel Writing Month.

Truthfully, I did not plan on participating this year. I have so much going on I did not intend to add one more thing. That was before vampire slaying hobos happened though. (Long story.)

So now a friend of mine and I are writing novels about the same characters hoping that by the end of the month, between the two of us, we will have an actual readable book or at least a few short stories. We only have working titles right now but look for our finished project sometime in January.

Right now I have some writing to get done. Since both kids are home sick I need to get to it while they are still asleep. Have a great day everybody and happy writing!

Just another Monday

I was on facebook a few minutes ago. I didn’t really have a reason. I was just procrastinating. I have to get the kids up in a few minutes and rush them off to school. All of the before school prep work is done.

I could take a shower but I would rather save that until I get back home. I only have plans to drop them off, then come home and clean the house. I will probably want another shower after all that is done anyway so I think I will just wait. I can use the time it would take me to shower now, to write and sip my coffee.

If only my brain will co-operate. It feels like a heavy lump sitting inside my skull at the moment. I am hoping by the time this first cup of coffee is gone it will be rejuvenated. I think it is tired from all of the dreaming I did last night.

I don’t remember much, but there is this very vivid bit about trying to hide motorcycle tires in a tool closet and having an old Asian lady for a next door neighbor. I can see her so clearly that she will probably end up in a story somewhere. I don’t know about the bit with the motorcycle tires.

Anyway, I brought up facebook because I just watched this really neat video that was posted to my daughter’s timeline. It was a visual of what I feel like I go through with my characters sometimes. I don’t really draw of course, but there in my head fictional people are having a major kung-fu throw down.

Here is a link: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152922870209245

Enjoy!

Thoughts Before The Alarm

toby feetSometimes I wake up an hour or so before the alarm goes off. If I am still really tired, and my mind hasn’t woken up yet, it is easy to just roll over and go back to sleep. Those times are few and far between however.

I often wake up and find my mind has been in over drive and is still running strong when my eyes pop open. Sometimes that takes the form of weird half remembered dreams. Sometimes it is the 3a.m. epiphany that has me scrambling for pen and paper in the dark.

(3a.m. epiphanies tend to be an interesting thing for me. Either it will be this great idea, that truly is great, but I won’t be able to read what I’ve written later. Or it will be a crappy idea that I thought was great at 3a.m. in the dark. I don’t turn the light on because the only thought I have after that happens is: “Ahhhhh! my eyes!”)

This morning I woke up with my head hurting like my brain has been going for Olympic gold in mental gymnastics and practicing while the rest of me sleeps. I had a thousand and one thoughts running through my head. Part of me was excited because obviously my brain isn’t a dull as I have been lately beginning to believe. Part of me was mad because my head hurt and I had two hours before the alarm. The last part of me, the writer part, was all: “Go for coffee and write it down! No skip the coffee! You might forget something, Go write!”

Art by my 12yr old daughter
Art by my 12yr old daughter

Which is why I stumbled through the dark to my bedroom door intent on reaching my computer. The problem was I forgot about “The Horde”.  Nope, that isn’t a rock band or the misspelling of all the crap littering my hallway.  That is in reference to the trio of cats who occupy my house. (Panda, Casper, and Max.) They look cute and fluffy but nothing stands in the way of their breakfast.

 

So as I stumbled down the hall it was to amax sleeping chorus of meows and the feel of little sharp kitten claws. (Max doesn’t meow much. He is blind and I think meowing messes with his radar or something. I don’t know. Maybe the other two put him up to the biting because they know he is a baby and I won’t do anything to him. Whatever the reason, kitten claws and teeth hurt.)

pandaNormally, by the time I make it to the kitchen and feed them all in order of rank, (This is important. There will be a war if rank isn’t followed. Panda always gets fed first.) any idea that is still hanging around is a strong one.

So what did I think about this morning that had me crawling out of bed, stumbling to my computer before coffee, and facing The Horde two hours early? Heck if I know, but I thought if I was here anyway I might as well write.

 

Good Weekends

snoopyI would just like to say that if this post reads like it was written by a drooling two fingered alien, with only a tenth of the mental capacity of the average human…well that’s not too far off.  At least that’s how I feel this morning.  I have a hot cup of coffee sitting here.  I am waiting for it to cool enough for me to drink it.  (It’s instant.  I couldn’t wait long enough for the real stuff.)

Anyway, now that I have the disclaimer out of the way, I had a great weekend.  The kids were out of school all last week for Fall Break, but I had to work until Wednesday so I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked.  Wednesday and Thursday are kind of a blur for me because I was still adjusting back to being awake during the day.  Friday afternoon we went to the library, came home, ate dinner, read a book, and went to bed.

Then Saturday dawned.  My cousin, who is something between a craftsman and a mad scientist, had a booth at a tractor show in the next town over.  I had never been to a tractortractors show so we decided to check it out.  I even donned overalls for the occasion, much to the embarrassment of the kids.  (Picking on my kids is one of main reason I own overalls to begin with.  I am a terrible gardener, I don’t own any live stock, and I rarely work on cars.  Even when I do, it is more of handing my brother the appropriate wrench type of thing.  I do love all of the pockets in overalls though.)

My daughter’s best friend came along and we had good time viewing tractors, petting cows, and climbing on trailers for hay rides.  My daughter’s friend decided to spend the night, so I took all three kids hojack o lanternme to carve pumpkins and roast hot dogs.  The girls stayed outside well after dark and only came in near bed time.

Sunday morning we drug ourselves out of bed for the country fair at Prater’s Mill.  It was a lot like the tractor show but with more booths, less tractors, and more clog dancers.  There were canoes to paddle as well, but with three kids I decided I didn’t want to chance it.  (I know my two are good swimmers but I wasn’t sure about the blacksmithother girl.)  We ate barbeque sandwiches, got faces painted, bought random trinkets and learned about blacksmithing, spinning and weaving wool, and carving wooden bowls.   (We also came home with sunburns, because it is the middle of October and I didn’t think about sunscreen.)

I met some interesting people and decided I really need to invest in a digital recorder.  (Many writers have them to record ideas or to keep notes.)  Murray County Paranormal Investigations had a booth near the face painters.   So while waiting on the kids to be ghost giggleturned into dragons, I introduced myself and had a pleasant conversation. If I had carried a digital recorder with me then I could have interviewed them for my blog.  They were kind enough to answer my questions and informed me that they do ghost tours.

Now I am the first to admit that I am a coward. I do believe there is more out there that what can be seen with the human eye.  I also firmly believe that if whatever it is will stay away from me, then I will stay away from it.

That being said, they are doing a ghost tour this coming Saturday at the Historic Wright wright hotelHotel in Chatsworth, Georgia.  This would not be too far of a drive for me and they said if I come they would be happy to do an interview before the tour.  I would find it tempting except I have to work Saturday.  I may try to go anyway depending on what time it starts.

Another fascinating person I met at the country fair, was an artist by the name of Roland J Rankin.  I fell in love with his paintings.  They were amazing.  You could almost mistake them for photographs.

roland j rankinI spoke with Mr. Rankin for a little while and exchanged contact information.  After I told him I was a writer, he smiled at me and told me to “keep at it” and to not give up.  Words from an almost stranger, but they hit me hard.  I think it was because of the fact that I don’t really know him that the words meant a lot to me.  It’s funny how encouragement comes to us sometimes.

Before I left his booth, he gifted me with some note card prints with some of his work on the front.  I intend to frame and hang them on the wall where I can see them while I write.  roald-dahl-inspiration-quote-motivation-life-advice-believe-in-magic-glittering-eyes-childrens-author-writer