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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday on Writing: Lifus Interruptus

What do you do when life interrupts your writing schedule? This is one that affects me a lot. Seems whenever I get "into the groove" and back into a regular writing schedule, something comes along to upset my apple cart.

I try not to let the personal things interfere--my dad, after all, is well cared for in the nursing home so even if our last visit didn't go well (sometimes he pleads with me to bring him home, or to tell him when he can go home. Those are the hardest visits.) Anyway, I have to put that out of my head. Same with other personal issues, whether it's finances, a fight with my husband, worried about son #1's sliding grades, or something the MIL said that's burning my behind. I can set all that aside and still write.

But what about the stuff that really takes time away? Sick kids comes to mind. Up during the night so many times that you're dragging all day long, and ready for bed long before the household is ready to let you go there. While I've noticed my oldest son hasn't had nearly the number of ailments as usual this year, my youngest has averaged at least one illness a month since school began in September. I'm a certified germ-a-phobe, one of those mom's that all but dips her kids in hand sanitizer every day after school and after grocery store visits, etc. and is vigilant about hand washing. But he and his classmates are still young enough that they pass things around easily. Since it was the same with my oldest until he hit middle school, I'm guessing I have another couple of years of this before it's over.

This week was a combination of all of the above. I had only one day this week--today-- where I'd be home for the majority of the day--and instead I spent it chasing my youngest to the doctor, and then to the pharmacy for antibiotics and the 40 minute wait for the prescription to be filled. SIGH. I'd love to say I'll find time to write tonight after everyone is in bed, but after having been up and down with him most of the last couple of nights, I know I'll be too tired. Tomorrow night is cub scouts and Friday night is family game night--no give in the schedule at all.

All I can do is hope --and try! --to find time to write this weekend to make up for what I've missed all week long.

So what do you do when life takes a bite out of your writing schedule--how do you bite back?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Monday Morning Musing

I'm back after a week's absence (dang migraines!)

It's not nice to be fooled by Mother Nature. Figures that the first day of spring would see a return to winter. We went from two weeks of 60 degree weather back to the cold, hard facts this weekend! Sure it's only 38, but after two weeks of shirt sleeves and flip flops.... brrrrr. Guess we'll finally have to admit it's March, not May!

The week from hell. It's never a good feeling when you flip the calendar to a new page and realize you don't have even one open weekend the entire month. I'm halfway through that, but about to embark on a super busy week. SIGH. Don'cha just hate it when life interferes with writing?

Whatever happened to the Class of 85? Have you heard about this? Did you ever wonder whatever happened to the prom queen? The guy voted most likely to spend time in a Federal Prison? The couple voted most likely to succeed? This is a new series the Last Rose of Summer line is doing over at TWRP. Next to the historical lines, LROS is my fave line to write for. I may need to dust off some of those contemporary ideas I've shelved for this one. (Class of 84, myself. Hey! I was 12 when I graduated. Child prodigy. LOL. You don't really beleive that, though, do you?)

Speaking of Class of 84, this week I've been totally obsessed with a band I spent a great deal of time listening to back in the day--saw them in concert twice in those days. I really love what Journey's new lead singer (Arnel Pineda) has done with the old songs. Loved Steve Perry back then, love the energy this guy brings now. And that long black hair (It's Raz hair!! SIGH.) doesn't hurt, LOL. If you haven't heard his amazing "Cinderella" tale and discovery on YouTube, head over there and search for Journey on Oprah.

New follower? Well, well, well Miz Lace, 'bout time you emerged from hiding. Good to see you back, girlfriend. How many days til Zorro comes out???

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wednesday on Writing: What Frustrates You the Most?

Funny, for last week's Wednesday on Writing feature I had planned to discus something along those very lines. But a busy schedule kept me from posting and I shelved the topic for this week.

And then something wonderful happened. A similar topic was chosen for discussion on one of the TWRP loops. The question "what drives you crazy about the writing process?" was posted. TWRP Author Delle Jacobs responded and her response not only had me nodding my head in agreement, it touched me--and inspired me.

With her permission, I'm sharing that with you. What she had to say was far better than what I would have come up with. I hope you'll find her words as inspirational as I did.

Do you know what is the most frustrating thing about writing for me? ME!
I am my own worst enemy. There are so many times when I would just like
to kick myself if I could just figure out how to do that effectively.I
probably have a lot of company, from what I hear. Writing is the thing
we love with such an intense passion that we quit our jobs to stay home
so we can devote more time to it. And then what? We waste our newly
found time.

I'm always busy, yes. But doing what? I've never been one to write in
the morning so I try to get other tasks done until my mind is better
set. But it seems there ae so many days when morning doesn't end until
the sun goes down! And that's entirely my fault!

I think we talk a lot about writers' block, but we don't seem to
remember writing is hard work. Most of us can remember the early days of
our writing when it was such pure joy, when the words flowed like warmed
honey, and we think we ought to feel that wonderful experience with
every word we write. But we've forgotten the other side of that time.
Part of why it was so wonderful was just writing without the constraints
that inevitably came with writing better. We didn't really know how to
write, but we didn't know we didn't know. And now we know so much more,
and hold ourselves to a much higher standard. Now writing it hard work.
Yet we tell ourselves how bad our writing is. And we fill our days with
busy work that keeps us from having to face the fear that maybe our
writing stinks after all. What failures, what frauds we are! All because
the stories don't come easily, like we somehow think they should. But if
writing were easy, why would anyone stand in awe of authors and what
they do? If it were easy, anyone could and likely would sit down and
whip out stories as easily as they manage the daily drive to work.

I've decided that when a story hits a wall- or I do- it doesn't mean I'm
a failure or fraud, or that my story is junk and that's all I can write.
It means instead that I have come upon an opportunity to take my story
from ordinary to outstanding. I could probably take the easy, safe way
out and just write what anybody would write. There's always one of those
easy, trite plot lines available. But if my gut is shutting down my
brain and saying "Don't write that," then I'd better listen. It's time
to sit back and analyze my story, brainstorm my plot, or as Joleigh
Kramer said, time to make a list of ten different thing that could
happen next, and throw away the first five, because anyone could think
of those.

But you know what, this is hard! Maybe I just slip back into the bad,
lazy habits because I just don't want to face hard. Maybe some days I
just want to go back to the joy of writing junk and not noticing how bad
it is. And maybe, some days I'm just plain lazy and want to play. And
I'm willing to accept the coming guilt as a perfectly acceptable price
to pay for the fun of being lazy.

Delle Jacobs

Isn't that amazing? Big round of applause for her honesty. Now let's all go write and not worry about how good it is, or if we're doing it right. Write, if you will, just for the joy of it!

How about you? What do you find most frustrating about writing?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Morning Musing

I'm musing, LOL, but only about one thing. I just found out this morning that my 2008 contemporary release The Model Man will be out in audio book on May 12!

TWRP, my publisher, chose only those books that had sold exceptionally well and received great reviews to be among the very first offerings for their new audible book feature. I'm so tickled mine is one of them!

It's exciting and a little scary to think of someone actually giving a voice to my characters!

So that's all I'm musin' 'bout this sunny Monday morning!

Pretty cool, huh?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Muuuuu-sin' .... on a Tuesday Afternoon...

A busier than usual Monday kept me from musing, so here I am with some thoughts and observations on a Tuesday! My Wednesday on Writing post will probably also be delayed since I won't be near the computer for much of tomorrow. (Sorry, couldn't find any good Maxine's this week, either! I will do my best to find one for next Monday's post!)

Remember when you were a kid and your grandparents told you children should be seen and not heard? That's kind of how I feel about perfume, one of my worst migraine triggers (and air fresheners and scented body lotions, etc.) It should be something someone smells only when they get "thisclose" to you. Not something that lingers from a hundred yards away.

Kids! Sometimes the hardest part about being a parent is not laughing when you really want to. Last night I served stuffed peppers for dinner--never a favorite among kids (or me!), but one of the dh's favorite dishes. I told my 7 YO he did not have to eat the "yucky, slimy pepper" if he didn't want to. He promptly yanked it from his plate, dangled the halved pepper in the air and announced (much to the delight of his older brother): "It looks like an ass." I tried to swallow back my shock and surprise, glanced to the hubby for back up--and he was trying not to laugh, too. Sigh. Outta the mouths of babes.

McCaffrey's Law: We finally get a good snowstorm--and the one street they forget to plow in the entire neighborhood? Mine! Go figure. Thank goodness Mother Nature came through with some great sunshine today and melted it all off. That noise you hear, btw, is not the Wicked Witch of the West, but the giant snowman my kids built Friday after the storm. "I'm melting.... melting...."

Which brings me to:

TGIM! Yes, thank God it's March! You know what they say... "thirty days has September; April June and November. All the rest have 31, except for February which has..... 137."

Favorite quote this week:

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. – Maya Angelou

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