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The Creeping Crud

Two weeks ago, I got home from work (around 11 pm) and all was well (because Face Off was on and I love that show!) until my whole body started shivering and all my muscles started aching. I tried to shrug it off since it has been so cold. I tried to convince myself I’d gotten a chill from the sub-zero temps. But the chills and aches lasted all night. And then the congestion came. And then the cough.

Yep, the creeping crud attacked.

And I lost the battle.

Fast forward to today. I’m still tired. (14 hours of sleep a night isn’t enough rest.) I’m still coughing. I’m still stuffing myself with cold medicine.

The doc said it could take a month to get over this. Yay. In the meantime, I’m supposed to rest, drink lots of fluids, and eat healthy.

I’m ok with that. I’m NOT ok with the fatigue, however. For me fatigue not only includes physical sleepiness, but also brain fog. I’m able to read a bit (for the first time in almost two weeks, thank goodness), but I can’t for the life of me muster enough brain power to write. (This blog post is a slight miracle, actually.) So it looks like my little novella rewrite is going to take even longer than planned. Bummer!

But I’d rather draft something with a clear mind than not.

How about you? Are you able to write when you’re sick? (If so, I take my hat off to you!)

Whether you’re a writer or a reader, books play a pretty darn important part of your life. I don’t know about you, but no matter how many books I have, I still desire more. And for this tactile chick, ebooks aren’t where it’s at. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle and have several dozen ebooks, but I *LOVE* holding, caressing, & smelling–yes, smelling–my paperbacks. They are my friends, adventures, and security blanket(s) wrapped all into one.)

Doesn’t take long for stacks of books to pile up and encroach on liveable space in my house. Getting rid of them is just not an option. But where oh where can I keep them all?

Lucky for me, I’ve been doing some renovating in my fixer upper home, and the reno projects include NEW BOOKSHELVES. Yay!!!

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Believe In Yourself

I’ve been reworking rewriting an old project for a couple weeks now and let me tell you I’m struggling with it.

Not the story itself. I loved getting reacquainted with the characters. And once I consulted Save The Cat (a screenwriting guide that’s helpful for plotting novels too), I was able to outline a new and improved plot.

The first couple of chapters practically wrote themselves. Then I ground to a halt. For some reason, I hated everything I wrote. I froze when I opened the Word doc to continue drafting. I fell into a funk. HARD.

The reason?

I lost all confidence in my ability to write.

Some call it writer’s block, some call it procrastination, and some call it an empty creative well. For me, when I’m not writing it’s because I can’t see anything good about my skills. It doesn’t matter that I’ve written a million words. It doesn’t matter that I have published works. It doesn’t matter that people have told me how much they like X, Y, or Z about my stories.

Lack of confidence means all I see are the negatives and I’m blind to the positives.

It totally sucks donkey balls. And I HATE when it happens. I’m basically at a standstill, a dead end, encased in concrete.

I could quit. Then I wouldn’t have to fight myself and feel like crap. I wouldn’t feel guilty about watching TV when I should be writing. I wouldn’t be chastising myself for not working on that cool story that’s nagging at the back of my mind.

But I can’t quit. My friends won’t let me, lol!

And deep down, I don’t want to quit. Because I’ve got more than one story nagging at me. I’ve got more like ten.

And I do know how to write. I just have to remind myself of that.

How do I do that?

I write. And while I write, I let my character(s) talk to me. I transcribe what they see, hear, think, and feel. Once I get in their head(s), the story starts to emerge. And before I know it, I’m writing.

Bottom line: To write, all I have to do is believe in myself.

Sometimes it’s easier said than done.

How about you? How do you believe in yourself?

I hate to say it, but most movie previews I see don’t interest me. I might get to the theater once a month (sometimes more, but mostly less than that). Actually, there were a few years that I barely got to the theater once a year.

Some folks don’t go at all. Seeing a film in the theater can be expensive!

But in some cases, I prefer the theater. You just can’t compare the big screen and sound systems–unless you have a home theater in your house. (I do not.)

Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to Jupiter Ascending for quite some time. (Since last summer, I think!) the film was supposed to be released much earlier, but was postponed for a long time.

I love Scifi, so that makes it a big draw for me. I like Mila Kunis. And I’m dying (pun intended) to find out if Sean Bean’s character survives!

How about you? Yay or nay on Jupiter Ascending?

Jupiter Ascending Trailer

I’ve always enjoyed science fiction–the broad expanses of space, the quiet beauty of galaxies scattered across infinite blackness, the raw imagination, the astrophysics.

Something occurred to me in my recent musings as I tried to reconcile a common theme in Scifi stories with a bit of science fact.

Theme: Humans travel across vast amounts of space, either through a wormhole or while hibernating in a ship on autopilot. The goal is to meet an alien race, as in The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, or to meet their makers/engineers, a la Prometheus.

(Cool, right?)

Science fact: Light from the galaxies and stars we see now took, what, billions, trillions, etc, of light years to get to us.

Therefore, the very Galaxy, solar system, star, planet, moon, whatever the intrepid space explorers are traveling toward doesn’t exist anymore.

Bummer.

Any ideas how to reconcile these bits of seemingly paradoxical information? Maybe there’s an answer I haven’t come across yet. Please share your thoughts!

So the news has been floating around for a few days now, but I wanted to share with you too, ’cause it seems like a big deal.

When I signed the contract to publish The Zodiac Collector with Spencer Hill Press, a huge item on my bucket list got checked. Now I get to add and check off another item–one I never expected to happen!

Spencer Hill Press has been acquired by Kampmann and Company, in the Beaufort Books imprint. Beaufort pubs fiction and non-fiction and is based in NYC.

Here’s the website, if you’re curious for more deets: beaufortbooks.com

And screenshots of the PW announcement: PW link

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How cool is this?!

Congrats to Kate Kaynak, Jessica Porteous (two super fantastic people and incredibly hard workers), and the SHP team! *group hug*

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Go SHP!!!!

Resolutions…Meh

Not sure how a new year has rolled around again, but it has and so has the season of New Year’s Resolutions.

I’m not a resolution kind of gal. Seems…restrictive.

Anyhow, there are things I’d like to work on.

The reading room remodel is finally done:

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(I’ll be swapping out the rockers for a cushy chair at some point; they’re placeholders for now.)

Now it’s time to redo the dining room. I’m going to trace the freehand painted hydrangeas that are already there (so I can reapply them later), then smooth out the cracked plaster, repaint the room a mossy green (Betsy Ross Moss, to be exact), and add the flowers back in some of the panels. (No problem, right?)

I also have a growing TBR pile of books to tackle. (I’ve been on a reading jag recently and am making a dent, but will be buying more wish list books soon, so there you go.)

And there’s those 5-6 nagging book ideas floating around my brain that I’ve done jack squat on over the last two months. I should do something with them. Or one of them. Honestly, I’ve been waiting to hear back on a couple of folks who have BEAT & have been reluctant to start a new project while BEAT is outstanding. Not the best idea–I’ve essentially sent myself to a sort of purgatory as a result–but I feel stuck nonetheless.

I know I will settle down to write when I’m ready, but I’m not sure when that’ll be. *shrugs*

So that where I’m at in the new year. How about youse guys? What’s happening? Do share please.

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