Wednesday, May 06, 2020

IWSG Monthly Question - May 2020

May 6 question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?

Apparently, one of the important pre-writing preps is to write. By that, I mean journaling and blogging, Apparently, it's related to the length of the writing - short links to other sites, random comments on Facebook, and even journaling that is limited to a few sentences - don't seem to trigger the urge to write.

But, once I begin serious and lengthy journaling, extended blogging posts, or longer posts on FB, boom! I break into The Zone.

After several days of longer writing, last night I woke to an idea - of a Bookstore at the Edge of the Galaxy. I got up, started writing, and only went back to bed after I'd written the intro, and mapped out the rest of the story. I didn't want to forget the ideas, and made sure that I would be able to come back to it.

It only took about an hour to make more progress than I had in months.

OMZ, the relief! I've been spinning my wheels the entire time we've been in shutdown. I blamed myself for sloth, my husband for being underfoot, and the local coffee shops for not being available (I've always done my best writing with coffee and a sweet, plugged into the shop's network, and blissfully NOT surrounded by housework that needed to be done).

What I hadn't realized was that I could jump-start my writing by taking some relatively easy steps in that process. I'm writing this now, not only to make a suggestion that might help others, but to make those steps concrete, in case I get stuck again.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

I'm Finally Writing Again

It started slowly. I reviewed my WIP, began journaling daily - more or less. I wrote in that journal for longer and longer periods of time, and began flexing those writer muscles.

Last night, I woke up, and had an idea for a short story. I got out of bed, wrote the beginning, and made enough notes on the rest that I would be able to get back to it later.

Finally. Finally. Finally.

I've gotten back in the groove again. I'm not fiddling around with reading, blogs, and wasting time sleeping. I have a purpose, and one that is worthwhile.

Life is good.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

April IWSG Post

April 1 question - The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

They are improving - a lot. One side effect of the enforced Stay at Home mandate is that my husband is underfoot - and, that's both good, and bad.

The Good.

Husband's tackling cleanup and organizing projects that he has put off for decades.

Yes, I wrote DECADES.

So, some of the detritus of our home is being cleared out. He still has the tendency of wanting to shove the crap into an "organized" space, like the attic (no, it's not organized), rather than throw the stuff out. But, there is improvement.

And, I'm cleaning up my own messes. As well as some of his (and, I'm mum on just exactly what happened to the unneeded clutter - it's POSSIBLE that some of it accidentally ended up in the garbage).

The Bad.

He's underfoot - a lot. And, he considers any time spent on the computer as "wasting time" and "sticking my face into technology" - which, when the technology is MINE, is a bad thing.

His tech favs are, of course, needful and worthy.

I haven't killed him yet, but I have made a lot of notes on ways to kill your husband without detection. If he dies - for any reason - my browser trail is likely to sent me to the slammer.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

March 2020 IWSG

The March Question:

Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

This is a complicated question. Surely, I've infused my stories with my traditions/customs. That's a natural part of telling stories. And, as an American of Irish descent, telling stories - long, winding, part truth/part truthyish tales - is in my genetic heritage.

My mother was the source of much of that tradition, as she'd known family members not long in this country. She even passed on some Gaelic (mostly endearments and names of various entities, such as the Banshees). I was that kid who hung around on the fringes of adult conversation and stories. I picked up politics, gossip, and family stories - a LOT of family stories.

I've just recently finished a fantasy story, available here. It blends stories my mother told me and a few dreams, transplanting Irish folklore into modern America. If successful, I hope to expand it into a full-length novel in the future.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Work Update - Feb. 23, 2020

I've been down for the count since last fall. I've been either sick or injured most of that time. My respiratory problems have cleared up (probably mostly because my husband is in better shape, and we're no longer passing infections back and forth).

But my knee problems remain. It's complicated. I have osteoarthritis in knees and hip (that's the wear & tear kind). I am recovering from a badly sprained right knee, that left me barely able to hobble to and from the bathroom for the last week, with a brace and a cane. I'm much improved, and, in the last 24 hours, have graduated to an few hours of moving to a chair and sitting, and being able to manage basic cooking on the stovetop and toaster. And making coffee. Beautiful, beautiful coffee.

Long term, I was diagnosed two weeks ago with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). My mother had it. She was confined to a wheelchair, after about 10 years of pain, for the last 15 years of her life.

My first reaction was - No. Just, no. I couldn't imagine my life so circumscribed.

After looking into it, I'm less fearful. RA treatment has come a long way. They have multiple medications that treat the disease, including the more recent biologic therapies (Humira, Embrel, etc.).

I am hopeful that I'll be able to use voice dictation to manage writing and reduce the stress on my wrist joints.

The above sentence was written, as is this one, with the use of the built-in microphone on my MacBook. Going to be experimenting with this function over the next few weeks. It may make it easier for me to get work done on my books.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Dying With my Books on

No, that wasn't a typo. It was inspired by this post, from Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

I'm still on the road to getting my first full book out. I've written - and published - a few short stories. But my first book, written in a frenzy during NaNoWriMo, remains in a not-polished state. I liked it, but wanted to make it better, and knew that I could not do it justice just yet.

So, I started another book - one that, as I edit the first half for continuity issues - really excites me. I like the character development, the dialogue, and the plot. I've been nearly halted on it for over 2 months, due to just awful knee issues that have kept me from doing much of anything, and have left me badly sleep-deprived.

I came to a decision today - no matter how I feel, no matter how scattered my thoughts, I need to suck it up and finish the book. I've been doing a lot of blog reading and writing for the last couple of months - just had no energy for more.

I have no idea how I'm going to manage this. I just know I have to do it. So, I'll likely not be doing too much blogging - maybe 2-3 times a week, if that. The Republic will just have to manage, until I get that book finished.

And, to be honest, although it's entertaining, politics, at this time, is less scary than it's been for a long time. After seeing Trump manage that Impeachment debacle, I've decided to have some confidence in him.

I'll periodically update here about my progress - perhaps, once a week.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

February Entry to IWSG Blog Hop

I regularly see works of art featured at Ace of Spades blog, and at Woodpile Report.

Both blogs generally show traditional paintings, often of old masters (including those of other countries and by women). When they explain the meaning behind the composition, the choice of colors, and other parts of the paintings, I know that I have missed a vital part of my education.

In photos, although I take my own, they seldom measure up to those of truly expert photographers. My focus, and my training, is on using words to express myself.

Still, I do appreciate the works. I've long enjoyed the moody, nighttime paintings of Edward Hopper.

I've worked the night shift. I know how the craving for human contact rises in the dark. At those times, the urge to confess and connect is nearly irresistible. For that reason, I wrote:

Click on the link to see the summary - if you'd like to download it, the price is set by the reader (99 cents or less). Don't feel obligated to pay anything.

IWSG Monthly Question - May 2020

May 6 question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share? Apparently, one of the imp...