Friday, September 15, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-September 15, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I've finished the first draft of a new short story, and I'm hoping to finish editing it by the end of the day today. Fingers crossed that I don't succumb to procrastination.

Procrastination has been a problem this week since my husband and I have been re-watching Game of Thrones.  It hasn't been good for my productivity, but it's been too entertaining for me to care too much.

Zoe learned to wave.  It's so cute when she does it, too.  She's also getting more teeth.  Five in total have popped through now, and a sixth is visible just below the surface.  She bit my shoulder the other day, and I have to say, it really hurt.  She seemed to think it was funny.

What would you like to celebrate?




Friday, September 8, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-September 8, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I wasn't around last weekend because I traveled to Illinois with my husband and kids so we could visit family.  We left midday Thursday and got back home at 11:30 Monday night. The drive was also about 8 hours (could have been 6 but the kids kept having to use the restroom), so I was going stir crazy.  Still, we all made it there and back safely, and we had a great time seeing everyone.

As much fun as we had on our trip, I'm also celebrating being home again.  It's been good getting back into my regular routine and being able to relax a little.

I'm also happy that I've been able to get back into my normal writing routine.  I didn't write while we were gone, and I was worried my inspiration might dry up because of that, but nope.  That didn't happen.  I've been getting quite a bit done over the last few days.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: September 2017



It's the first Wednesday of the month!  That means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has once again recruited a fine group of co-hosts: Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure.

Be sure to visit the IWSG website.  Not only is it a great source of support and information, information on the next IWSG Anthology Contest will be revealed.  You don't want to miss out!

As far as insecurities go, I always feel anxious when I have stories out on submission.  The second I hit send, I start to second guess myself.  I begin to wonder if the premise of the story is weak.  I worry that I might have an embarrassing misspelling.  I question whether I met all of the submission guidelines.  To get past these insecurities, I'm trying to focus on the feeling of accomplishment I get from finishing a story and sending it out.

I'm also concerned with getting back into the swing of things when it comes to writing.  We took a road trip out of state to visit family over the weekend.  We left early Thursday afternoon and got back late Monday night.  It was a lot of fun, but it shouldn't come as a surprise that I did little in the way of writing while we were gone.  I want to get back into a routine so I can still meet my goals for this month.  I think I can.  At least, I hope I can.

The question for this month is:  Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?  For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

I love the feeling of being surprised when I'm writing.  That's part of what makes writing so enjoyable.  When I start a new project, I like to have an idea of where it's going to go. That helps get me started.  I don't always stick to those plans, though, and sometimes those surprises make the story even stronger than before.

I've talked before about how important it is to try new genres and find out what you're really capable of (which can lead to many wonderful surprises), so I won't rehash that here. Instead I'd like to talk a little about the importance of looking at your past writings and comparing those to what you're currently writing.  When I've done this, I found myself absolutely stunned by how far I've come as a writer.

Don't get me wrong.  I still have a lot to learn, but looking at where I started shows me how much is possible when you keep writing and refuse to give up.  If you're ever feeling down about your writing, I suggest you pull out something you wrote years ago and compare it to something more recent. There's a good chance you'll be pleasantly surprised too.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-September 1, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I'm actually writing this post a couple of days early.  By the time it goes live, I'll be in Illinois visiting family.  It's going to be a busy weekend with a lot of driving involved.  Hopefully it all goes well and the kids don't go stir crazy.

I submitted a short story this week.  It had to be in by a certain date, and I procrastinated so that I barely got it done in time. Nevertheless, it got finished, so that's reason enough to celebrate.

I'm looking forward to starting a new short story and getting some more work done on my new novel in the coming week. Hopefully it goes well.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-August 25, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

The boys started back to school on Wednesday, and they seem to be having a great time with it so far.  Zoe has also been getting good naps in since her brothers are away during the day, leaving the house pretty quiet.

The big event of this week was the solar eclipse.  We drove down to Missouri for it, and boy was that an adventure. Weather forecasts called for a 30% chance of rain where we were planning to go, so of course it ended up raining like crazy.  Fortunately, we'd budgeted in enough time to travel further south to escape the storms.  It was an epic race to escape the cloud cover in time.

We eventually got to an area near I-70 where the clouds were thin and there was a visible blue patch of sky that looked like it might possibly be headed in our direction.  Since totality was about twenty minutes away at that point, it looked like our best bet.  We settled in a parking lot shared by a fireworks store and an adult book store (there were plenty of jokes forming in my head about that one) and set up our telescope. And as we'd hoped, just as totality began, the cloud cover cleared.

Since we had to drive further than anticipated, we didn't film nearly as much as I'd been hoping.  By the time everything was set up and ready to go, totality was underway.  Still, we did manage to get some of it recorded, and my husband edited our clips together into a short little video.

video

I'll say this about the experience.  No video or picture can do it justice.  During that moment of totality, there's a feeling in the atmosphere that you can't recreate.  The world suddenly goes dark.  Planets and stars are visible in the middle of the afternoon.  There's a chill in the air as the radiant heat from the sun vanishes.  And the corona shimmers and glows in a way that cameras can't seem to capture.  It's one of the most amazing events I've ever experienced, and I'm already making plans to see the solar eclipse in April 2024.

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-August 18, 2017




It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

Zoe has more teeth coming in!  Only a couple of weeks after her bottom front teeth broke through, she now has the top front teeth visible just below the surface.  This has made her a tad irritable, but I can't blame her for that.

The novel I've started work on is taking some interesting turns.  The plot is growing and I may have a series on my hands now.  It's too soon to say what lies ahead, but I'm having a great time with it!  Even if the scope of this project is a little bit frightening.

The eclipse is on Monday!  Eek!  I'm looking forward to this so much.  I have a telescope, solar filter, and video camera so I can hopefully record the event.  Well, the crucial bits anyway. My laptop battery isn't good enough to capture the entire thing from start to finish, but as long as I get part of the lead up and totality, I'll be happy.  I just need the clouds to stay away.  If I do get good video of it like I'm hoping to, I'll share it with all of you.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WEP: Reunions


It's time for Write Edit Publish with Yolanda Renee and Denise Covey.  This month's theme is reunions.  There are so many possibilities with this month's theme.  Let's begin!

Tips for Surviving a Class Reunion

#1-Don’t let Facebook intimidate you.
            In the era of social media, people share everything.  What they eat, how much they exercise, the job promotions they got, etc.  People want to share their successes with the world (who doesn’t?), but the ability to pick and choose what gets shared can make it appear as if someone’s life is perfect.  This is a lie.
            Think of it this way.  Do you share a photo of yourself first thing in the morning complete with bedhead and eye boogers?  No.  Do you share that video of you trying a complicated dance move, tripping over a railing, and falling butt-first into a rose bush?  Of course not!  You don’t need to.  Someone you know will do it for you unless you destroy the evidence!  But if you’re not sharing that stuff yourself, your old classmates probably aren’t either.  This doesn’t mean those moments of humiliation don’t exist.
            People lie and manipulate facts on the internet all the time.  Shocking, right?

#2-Bring a buffer.
            If you have a significant other or friend who went to a different school than you did, drag them along with you.  This will help keep any awkward moments from getting too bad.  If the class bully asks if you ever fully recovered from that atomic wedgie, introduce them to your buffer.  What if a classmate approaches you about hooking up with their sweetheart senior year?  (You didn’t know they were dating!  How could you when you were always at the tail end of the gossip train?)  “Hey, I’d like you to meet [insert buffer’s name here].”  At the very least, they likely won’t try to punch you through your significant other’s face.  And if they do, it’ll make them look bad in front of everyone else.
            The down side to this is your friend/significant other may learn some embarrassing details about your teenage life.  If they love you enough to tag along for this, they probably won’t be too merciless with this newly acquired information.

#3-Practice your introduction.
            These people knew who you were a long time ago.  You’ve presumably changed a lot since then.  Even if you’re the same inept weirdo you were in high school, you don’t need to leave your ex-classmates with that impression.  Think of it like a job interview.  It’s all about framing the things you’ve accomplished in the right way.  Are you a waitress?  Congratulations!  Now you’re a food delivery technician!  Do you clean toilets?  Now you’re a health and sanitation expert.  Your job may not be glamorous, but other people don’t need to know that.  Presentation is crucial.

#4-Have an exit strategy ready.
            Reunions may be a good chance to catch up with old friends.  They might also be the perfect chance for old dramas to rear their head and strike.  A casual conversation can turn to one of bitterness and contempt quickly, and you should be prepared for that.  Have your buffer fake a medical emergency.  Have a friend on standby ready to call with an excuse to leave.
            You could also decide to tell people what you really think of them and casually stroll out afterwards.  You are an adult and free to leave at any time, after all.  You may even look just a little bit badass while you do it.  Unless you trip over your own feet on the way out.  Which you will, let’s face it.  That’s how these things work.

#5-Remember that you never need to see these people again.
            At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how bad you mess up.  It doesn’t matter in the slightest what any of them think of you or of what you did with your life.  They may be a part of your past, but they don’t have to be a part of your future if you don’t want them to be.  The sooner you embrace this fact, the more fun you’ll have.
            Have a happy reunion everyone!

Word Count: 660 words
FCA