Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thinking About It Thursday...

I missed What's Up Wednesday? How did that even happen? Dang.

Welcome to Thinking About It which I type out all of the crazy plans that have been floating around in my head for the month of November.

NaNoWriMo: OK, yes. I'm nearly finished editing one book, and need to seriously work on the next draft of another, but the siren song of Nanowrimo keeps calling me to come and play. I've been putting off the sequel to Hidden Magic for so long. It's already mostly outlined. Maybe just this once.

NaExerciseMo: Here's a thought. I could take all the time I usually devote to NaNoWriMo and use it to exercise. Think how good that would be for my body, and for my mind too. I'm finally starting physical therapy on my hip today. I have a dream that my whole body is going to start feeling its real age instead of 82.

NaDeYoHoMo: Ha! That is so much fun to say! It really ought to be a thing. It's National Declutter Your House Month! Just yesterday the plumber came by and gave us an estimate on the lynchpin home improvement project that has been keeping us from all other projects. It's going to cost a boatload of money to move the washer and dryer out of my kitchen and into the basement, but it's so worth it. I spent yesterday decluttering the basement to make room for them, and I kind of hate to lose my momentum.  A whole section of our concrete floor is bare now. It's so pretty, I could just stand in the middle of it and spin in a slow circle all day long. I should get rid of ALL THE THINGS!

NaGoBaToWoMo: In which I take a massive pay cut, but Go Back To Work as a substitute teacher. I was a long term sub, which was very close to normal pay, but short term subs make next to nothing, but do get job experience and make connections, which are vital to getting a teaching that what I want?

National Do As I'm Doing Month: I couldn't even begin to find an acronym that was possible to say for this one. But I could continue on as I am, finishing my current novel, exercising a bit, watching my house sink under the weight of all that clutter, and substituting once a week or so.

Or current favorite:

National Do It All Month. And Christmas Shop Too.

You know...looking at it written out there, shiny and imaginary, it seems like I could do almost all of it, except maybe write Lost Magic. I hate to set that aside, especially when I could feed off all the excess  NaNoWriMo energy, but this isn't really the time. So here's the plan...I will have a finished outline of Lost Magic by the end of November. I will schedule two hours a week to work on it. Not even close to Nanowrimo mode, but a heck of a lot more attention than I've been giving it.

Which leaves me with a lot of time for exercise. Probably more than I need. But I could do an hour a day. Still not NaNoWriMo levels of time commitment, but more than I've been doing, by a long shot.

So I'll have plenty of time to substitute, declutter my house, Christmas shop, and finish the Pyromancy novel. Easy peasy. I only wonder if I'm not planning enough...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's Up Wednesday Oct. 22, 2014

What's up Wednesday is a blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers keep in touch with each other. If you'd like to participate, sign up on the linky at one of their blogs, and use one of the cute WUW buttons provided. Thanks!

I've been longing for this day! It's been a while since I had time to participate in WUW, and I've missed you all so much! Reading your blogs and your comments is such a fun part of my week.


Reason #2 that I've missed you: I'm in a reading slump. All of the books I picked out at the library by myself were dumb. Ooh. Except The Screaming Staircase. That was good stuff. Kind of a horror middle grade/YA crossover thing. But my list of TBR books has shrunk alarmingly. I can't wait to see what you are reading.


"This is the book that never ends..." Not true! I'm almost done editing Pyromancy Part 1. I honestly can't wait, even though Pyromancy Part 2 is right underneath it, ready for edits. I should be finished with Pyromancy Part 1 by the end of the week, and the betas are right behind me, so I can jump right into applying their stuff when I'm through. Part 1 should be out in January!


I've been working as a teacher in an elementary school resource room, and you know what? Those kids work dang hard. They inspire me. I taught 5th grade reading in one room and 5th grade math right after it in a different room, and those kids would beat me there and be working on their daily math before I even walked in the door. And they didn't stop! They would be working their tails off when I said "You can clean up now." That inspires me.

So does this post by Glennon Doyle Melton: I couldn't find it on her blog, only on her facebook page, so I'm posting the whole thing here. But the blog is amazing anyway.
Here is what happened: All of the middle school kids were running. Sweaty, near tears, their legs pounding the pavement, hurting, pushing- in FRONT OF THEIR PEERS AND CROWDS OF STRANGERS. Kids have more courage and vulnerability in their LEGS than most of us adults have from head to toe. Can you IMAGINE? The BRAVE this takes?

And the fast ones finished one at a time and everyone was cheering and cheering and then the middle ones finished in packs and then the slower ones finished a few at a time and then nothing for a while.

And then the last ones came around the bend. One a time. Alone. Pushing. They were hurting. They wanted to quit. They were maybe even a little bit embarrassed. But as they moved closer to the parent spectators- the cheering got LOUDER. LOUDER, even - than it was for the fast ones. Because everyone just KNOWS IN THEIR BONES that it is AWESOME to finish first but it is INSPIRING to finish LAST- to FINISH when you’ve got no chance in hell of winning. THIS is the stuff that makes spectator’s hearts explode with tenderness and love and admiration and hope for all of us. THE LAST ONES. And so these last ones heard the cheers and their heads lifted and their pace picked up ever so slightly.

And then this:
Those fast ones? The ones who finished minutes ago? They gathered together. And they jogged directly toward the last one, who was still running. And they loosely huddled around her. Blue jerseys surrounding her blue jersey in more blue. And they matched her pace. And the fast ones ran alongside her and they chanted her name and they celebrated with her when she finally crossed that finish line. The fast ones and the last one FINISHED THE RACE TOGETHER.

You guys - the fast ones just UNDERSTOOD. They understood that the race was the hardest for the last one but that she DID NOT STOP. And so they understood that SHE WAS THE HERO OF THE DAY. All of them understood that We Belong To Each Other. And that regardless of where we finish: LOVE WINS.

I SAW this happen today. It is now my life metaphor for EVERYTHING. We finish together. The fast ones wait and surround the last ones and match her pace and cheer her name. That’s it. That’s the whole ball game, folks.

The kids are all right. The kids are freaking AMAZING.

I've been working as a long term sub in a resource classroom, and Friday was my last day. I miss it. I miss it even though it made writing nearly impossible, and even though it made my schedule absolutely crazy. I miss the kids, especially the ones that I know are missing me too. But I am excited to have time to blog, and time to write, and maybe to clean my house, or return some library books on time. And hopefully I get to go back. Not that I want the poor regular teacher to have any more problems in his life, because he's had more than his share this year. But still...I would like to go back. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Very Strange Little Post.

Have you ever had one of those days where you spend most of your brain capacity composing (and discarding) self-pitying facebook posts? That's where I'm at today. Today I need to remind the world that "I'm here!" and "My life is super complicated!" and "I know I'm a writer but that doesn't always mean I have the words to express myself." I'm not trying to be cryptic and I'm not trying to get loads of people to worry about me. This is what I needed to do to feel better. Knowing my little world has connected with your world for a few minutes was all it took. That might be weird, but who cares?? Thanks!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What's Up Wednesday--REALLY back to school edition

What's Up Wednesday is a blog hop created by Jaime and, Erin Funk, to help writers connect. ***Please remember to link to their blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons provided.***


I just finished Going Rogue by Robin Benway. I think Catching Jordan is up next on my list. I'm going through a phase where fluffy, light stuff is all I can really handle. It seems like there was some book about a prom and Shakespeare on someone's list last week that is probably right up my alley. Does anyone remember what it was?


Last night, I combined a couple of scenes into one scene. I should just get used to this as the way our books work. I write so much in the rough draft that I spend the whole editing phase cutting, while my coauthors get to keep on adding. I spend the whole rough draft thinking I'm hogging the limelight, but by the time we're actually finished, things work out pretty evenly, or maybe even swing in the opposite direction. 


Air conditioning. SO inspirational, I know.


I was going to take the week off from blogging, but I can't help myself. The day my kids went back to school, I got a call from the principal asking me if I would be interested in a long-term subbing position. So last week I was writing odes to all the writing time I was going to have while the kids were in school, and not 24 hours later, I was teaching school myself. I'm not sure how long it will last, but I'm really enjoying myself. EXCEPT there is HOT. There is no air conditioning in our schools, and I swear it was 90 degrees yesterday. And SO Humid. Today it wasn't nearly as humid, and there was a bit of a breeze, but I'm still happy to be in my air-conditioned home.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's Up Wednesday--the back to school edition

What's Up Wednesday is a blog hop created by Jaime and, Erin Funk, to help writers connect. ***Please remember to link to their blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons provided.***


Wait a minute. I didn't read anything this week! Well, that's not quite true. I am reading Understood Betsy with my youngest daughter. It's a novel written in 1917 by the woman who brought the Montessori method to the U.S.  It's the story of Betsy, who is extremely overprotected until she is sent to live with her aunts and uncle who have a farm in New England. It's the story of how she blooms as she learns to think for herself. It's in the vein of Little Women, which I'm crossing my fingers she'll let me read to her next. 


I could just say "ditto" to last week. Editing Pyromancy, making progress, blah, blah, blah. It's alternately depressing and then exhilarating how little changes can make such big ripples. Depressing because I don't want to change things I like, but exhilarating because when I do, it makes the book so much better! 


Some quotes:
  • If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. (Antoine St. Exupery)
  • I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim, or murmur or think at some point, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is." (Kurt Vonnegut)
  • To live a creative life, we must give up our fear of being wrong. (Joseph Chilton Pearce)
  • The earth has music for those who listen (Shakespeare)


My youngest two kids went back to school today, and my oldest two are still asleep. It's lovely to have the house back to myself, if only for an hour or two. Still, it is bittersweet. My oldest is a senior in high school this year. I told her not to do it, but she didn't listen, and grew up anyway. :(
On the plus side...possibly my "what I'm writing" section will get more exciting now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's Up Wednesday - Wait, Wait! Summer, Where Are You Going?

What's Up Wednesday is a blog hop created by Jaime and, Erin Funk, to help writers connect. ***Please remember to link to their blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons provided.***


I finished Also Known As by Robin Benway. YA spy books are some of my favorite things, so I was very happy to find Robin. It was a fun read. I also finally read House of Hades by Rick Riordan. I was kind of over Rick Riordan for a while, but I guess I took a long enough break because this was fun.


Editing Pyromancy. Hopefully by next week I'll be able to say that the first third is done. And once school starts, it is bound to go a lot faster. I just revamped the deadlines to give us an extra month. I'm afraid by the time it actually comes out we're going to have to remarket the first book in the series all over again. We're taking TOO LONG!


I woke up at 3:30 this morning because I've been having really vivid dreams for the past few nights. I heard a slithering sound on my floor, and was pretty sure it was zombies, but it turned out to be my youngest daughter, (not a zombie) asleep on the hard-wood floor of my room, which she hasn't done for years. I was pretty wide awake after that, so I came downstairs to do some writing. 

My point is that although I'm pretty sure I've been inspired in the past week, I'm too tired to think of anything inspiring. The only thing I can think of is a pretty uninspiring article I read in Psychology Today. It was for life coaches, and it talked about how encouraging people to follow their dreams (as a career) is probably not always a great idea, because so many people's dreams lie in the same field, and the supply for those fields is glutted, which means that very talented people are willing to do those jobs for hardly any money. The writer of the article has gained quite a bit of fame for her various creative endeavors (including writing), but has never made any money at them. Instead she has a separate career to pay the bills.

In a weirdly roundabout way, I was comforted by this article, possibly because I'm contemplating going back to work soon. I've read so many articles about how indie authors are flourishing in this new environment, and I even know a few who are. But mostly, I know a lot of incredible authors, indie and traditional, who work a day job or whose spouse works while they stay at home to write and take care of children. 

I guess I'm inspired by my reaction to this epiphany of mine. It is this: Writers gotta write. I'd love to make money at it, but I don't suppose it matters in the vast scheme of things. It's not like lack of money is going to keep me from writing. I'm usually a better writer when I'm busy anyway.


Back to school stuff. One week from today, my kids will be back in school. My high school aged son is already back in soccer with a vengeance. (Two practices a day, 8-10 and then 3-5.) which means I'm back to fitting my life around my chauffeuring job. My oldest daughter is a senior this year, and I wish time would just slow down. So many heart-wrenching choices to make this year. I'm afraid she's not going to end up going to college within driving distance of home, and I can't even picture what that will be like. Ack. I'm not starting out my day thinking about that! Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's Up Wednesday July 13, 2014

What's Up Wednesday is a blog hop created by Jaime and, Erin Funk, to help writers connect. ***Please remember to link to their blogs and/or use one of the WUW buttons provided.***


Two weeks in a row with nothing to say! This is a sad, sorry state of affairs. However, I've got Also Known As by Robin Benway waiting for me at the library, so maybe next week I'll have better news on the reading front.


After so many weeks of not making much progress, I feel like we're really cruising on editing Pyromancy. But the first quarter of the book was where most of the changes needed to happen, so we've still got a long way to go.


I write for another blog called The Prosers, and right now we're all writing posts called My First Story. Well, a funny thing--last year I published a book called Hidden Magic. It was the first book I ever wrote, and I've been promising its little group of fans that I would write a sequel, but I just haven't been feeling it. As I've been thinking about this blog post, I remembered something...

Hidden Magic may have been my first book, but it wasn't my first story. Hidden Magic is actually the prequel to the first story I ever wrote. The story was not young adult fantasy, it was a weird sort of crossover new adult/adult/fantasy conglomeration, so I tucked it away and tried to take Hidden Magic in a completely different direction. But some of those original ideas are rising back to the surface. We'll have to wait and see what comes of it.


My sister and her family left last night, after spending the entire week with me. It was the first time in eight-ish years that she's come to Maine, and the first time her amazing husband was able to join her. We had SUCH a good time. We hiked the Freedom Trail in Boston and the Jordan Stream Carriage Trail in Acadia National Park, and spent a day at the beach before we even gave ourselves time to breathe. 

Saturday was supposed to be our relaxing day, but instead they painted my dining room for me! (It was in DESPERATE need of a coat of paint, but I couldn't ever find the time. But they aren't  a "find the time" kind of family. They just do it. It is GORGEOUS.) After church on Sunday we went up to my in-laws cabin and stayed until Tuesday morning, swimming, kayaking, and playing games. How can it already be over???  

(I'll edit this to add pictures eventually...)