Monday, June 5, 2023

The Summer of Making Strides

For a lot of people, the summer is about relaxing and vacations. But since doing anything "normal" would be too easy – and easy stands no chance against my overthinking ogre of a brain – my husband and I mostly spend this sweat-storm of a season with our heads down, trying to get stuff done. 



Novel/novella – a draft WILL be done by summer's end. I will write through a hurricane if I have to (but, please, let's hope and pray I don't have to!)


Mailing List – a mailing list will – hopefully! - be set up by summer's end. I know, I know, I should've done this so long ago. Part of the delay was laziness, some just procrastination, but most of it was that overthinking ogre brain again. 


This post - "The Thing That Sticks Out" – by Austin Kleon reminded me how uniqueness in a story should often be cultivated, not squashed. 



Movie – "Knock at the Cabin" (2023, directed by M. Night Shyamalan) – I really enjoyed this. It was suspenseful, unnerving and unsettling, all things I love in a story. 



Two recent favorites for you:

LONE WOMEN by Victor LaValle (historical fiction/horror) 

CROW MARY by Kathleen Grissom (historical fiction) - I was lucky to get my greedy hands on an ARC of this one. 



The tortoises celebrated their 14thbirthday! Banana was enjoyed by all! 




What are your summer plans? Any suggestions or tips for setting up a mailing list? Read or watched anything you enjoyed? Celebrating anything?


Monday, May 1, 2023

Is That Progress I See?

Lately, progress is like some elusive legendary creature slinking around beneath the sea. I catch glimpses of it, only for it to then flick its tail at me before disappearing back into the deep. 



Published - My 400 word story, DEAD LINE, up at Dread Stone Press.


Novel/Novella - I had to rethink and redo so much of it these past couple of months. I really hope it will be worth it and a better story will result.


Two fun and inspirational posts for you:

"10 Things Lego Has Taught Me About Story-Building" by P.A. Cornell, over on the Writers Helping Writers blog 


"Are You Giving Yourself Writing Credit?" by Jessica Conoley, over at Jane Friedman's blog. 




Movies - We really liked "Jerry and Marge Go Large" (Bryan Cranston, Annette Bening, and Rainn Wilson.) Sometimes, the dark corners of my mind need some light shone into them. 


TV – "The Night Agent" on Netflix was great! My husband said it reminded him of "24" (the original series), which is one of his all-time favorite shows. So enjoying "Not Dead Yet" with Gina Rodriguez – funny, quirky, heartwarming and heartbreaking, all in 30 minutes! 




Have you seen progress – on anything! - lately? What keeps you going when the glimpses of it are few and far between? Have you watched anything you'd recommend?

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Decisions, Decisions

Well, 2023 is marching on, isn't it?



The POV in this first draft of the novel was killing me. I went with Main Character 1 then went with Main Character 2 then back and forth and back again. I thought their narratives were equally compelling, in different ways, but both had weaknesses. I finally just decided to listen to what the story wants because, as usual, the story really does know best. So as of now – realizing this will probably change with editing and revising - not only do I have two POVs but also a Prologue. Sigh.


Movies – I was disappointed in the last couple of movies I watched. And this was after watching the previews and checking out the ratings/reviews. One movie was so bad not even a well-known, excellent actor could save it. Another started off really good then morphed into something so weird I have no words for it. 



Back in January, I mentioned that one of my goals was to work on managing my anxiety. I decided to change that up a bit and focus instead on cultivating calm and finding the tools to calm myself - mentally, emotionally, physically - when I need to (and believe me, I need to often!) I'm trying to meditate and listen to/read/watch more positive things. 



My husband and I often take the tortoises when we sit on the patio. My husband is usually settled out there before me and, lately, Mrs. Larry has taken to sitting under the chair next him - my chair. We're not sure if she's keeping my husband company or if she's keeping an eye on him, but once I come outside, she walks off, as if saying he's my responsibility now. 



How do you decide a story's POV? Have you seen any good movies lately? Any suggestions for cultivating calm?

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The Push Broom in my Mind

So far, my KISS – Keep It Super Simple - word/strategy for 2023 is working pretty well. When I catch clutter creeping in, especially mental clutter, I imagine my focus as a big push broom, shoving stuff out of the way. (My husband always laughs when I use housecleaning examples because we both know the only time I might ever actually use a broom would be for Quidditch.



I'm pretty sure I've done more work on my novel/novella last month than I did last year.  



Movie – Summer of 84 (2018) is nostalgic AND creepy. The monologue delivered by one of the characters toward the end is utterly chilling. I'm still thinking about it. 


TV – Don't ask me how we missed Friday Night Lights the first time it was on because I don't know. I do know, though, that we're enjoying it now! We're in the second season so no spoilers, please! 



Well, we signed up for another miles challenge. And we're carrying over one from last year so here's where we are as of 1/29/2023:

19/300 miles

0/100 miles.


I usually focus more on overall health, but this year, losing pounds - in a healthy way! – is my goal and will hopefully give me the most benefit all around. So far, I haven't lost any weight, but I also haven't gained any either, so I'll take it.  




How's your year going so far? Any movies or TV shows – old, new or new-to-you – that you're enjoying? How do you lose pounds or handle weight loss in general? Any suggestions?

Monday, January 2, 2023

Super Simple

My One Word for 2023 is actually an acronym:


KISS – Keep It Super Simple


I recently mentioned to a friend that my brain feels too full and too empty at the same time. (Not sure if that makes sense to anyone else but it did to us!) There's too much "clutter" around me and inside of me. It's time to purge and streamline. So, in keeping with that theme, even my goals for 2023 are pretty straightforward:


WRITINGfocus on the novella/novel

PHYSICAL HEALTHfocus on losing pounds

MENTAL HEALTHfocus on managing anxiety


A lot of things will have to go by the wayside in order for me to put my energy, my focus where it absolutely, positively needs to go. I have no idea if this will work, but I'm going with it. 


(On a side note, you may recall, my husband and I had signed up for three different miles challenges last year. The results? 0/100 miles on one challenge, 30/100 miles on the other and . . .  drum roll, please! . . . 202.2/202.2 miles! Not great, but not too shabby either.) 


Wishing you all a creative, healthy, joyful 2023!



Do you have any goals/plans for 2023? Any advice/suggestions for me?