Wednesday, January 17, 2018

To Epilogue or Not to Epilogue...That is the Question

I'm currently revising the last chapter in this book I had previously published with an epublisher, and it's been such an uphill battle breaking the book apart and inserting a few extra scenes, that I'm hesitant to mess with it much beyond what is already there and polished.

But...I kind of feel like it needs an epilogue. What's one more scene, right? Right? *crickets* I'm so ready to be finished with this revamp that even a 500-1000 word epilogue feels like a major ordeal. Then again, I'd hate to skip the epilogue and then spend the next eight months obsessing over it...because that's the sort of thing I would do...and then end up going back to the story and adding it in later. This insanity is how my creative brain works.

Tangent ahead... For the New Year, I didn't make a resolution, per say, I merely said to myself I wanted to be more fearlessly creative in 2018. Take more risks. Wrap up old projects or ax them entirely if they aren't working out. What else? Oh, yeah. I want to focus on streamlining my writing process - writing productivity. That sort of thing.

So, with that in mind, this morning I bought book by Anne H. Janzer called The Writer's Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear. I'm hoping that will help me get in the flow. We will see.

Anyway, that's all I have to report for now. I guess through writing this post I've pretty much decided I should write that epilogue. That being the case, I better get on with it. Write it rather than regret it, eh? Okay, then.

Until next time... happy wishes! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Heart, Heart / Kiss, Kiss

What have I gotten myself into now?  I'm on Week 5 of The Artist's Way. Oh, did I not mention that I was doing the program? It appears this is my first post of the New Year, so I guess I haven't. By the way, Happy New Year! It's the year of the Yellow Earth Dog. Woof.

So, okay, I'm going through The Artist's Way (Julia Cameron), and I just made it throught that whole week of reading deprivation - at least I think I did the whole week since I haven't been hardcore keeping track. I can't be bothered with that sort of thing, dontcha know. But it's been about a week, roughly five days, and what did I gain from that...dreams. Insanely vivid dreams at night. I guess my brain 'detoxing' lol from all the binge reading I do. At one point, I literally shouted in my sleep, and woke myself up saying, "I can't stand it anymore!" I have no idea what I was actually talking about. In the dream I was trying desperately to find my shoes because I was about to miss the bus. Make of that what you will.

I've moved along to Week 5, and omg, the motivation just to read Week 5 has been...non-existent. I'm one of those readers it's really hard to pick up a book again once I've stalled. If you can call a week of forced reading deprivation a stall. But I then forced (agony!) myself to read through Week 5's essays to the task portion. At this point, I couldn't tell you what the heck I read. It didn't stick. I'm going to have to reread it and hope for the best.

Right before the Week 4 deprivation, I finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson. Totally worth reading. I want Hubby to read it, if I can ever manage get him to settle in with it. Personally, I waver back and forth between giving too many fucks and having none. Absolutely zero. Now, after I read that Mark Manson book, for whatever reason, when I start to get miffed about something, I think of the number of fucks I have to give almost like they're those get out of jail free cards in Monopoly. The inner brain dialogue goes something like this: I only have two more fucks to give, and so if I use one card now, and something major happens later on this week, I won't have it when I need it! (panic) I think I should hold on to this one for now. 

Seriously.

That has nothing to do with the book, but who cares?  It works. I should print up a number of "fucks to give cards" and keep them with me throughout the day to use them like psychological currency.

Alrighty then. Back to obsessing over scented markers (yes, really) and this vintage merry mushroom kit I've been working on. It's the little things, I guess. Stay warm out there. Tomorrow marks snow day part two for us. No school, again. Poor Mini is bored to bits despite the room full of toys, TV, tablet, computer, and all the pets. But there's nothing to do. Bless his lil heart.

Until next time, ya'll. Happy wishes.

Friday, December 29, 2017

RIP Puff N' Stuff

It's been an interesting 2017 to say the least. Okay, in truth, it's been a hard year with a lot of heartache and sickness. I'm counting on 2018 to be better, because the alternative simply isn't acceptible to me.

We did have a good Christmas, but it was shadowed by the loss of our sweet kitty Puffin. He was technically a feral kitty that would sleep on an Amazon box in the dining room. He had the teeniest tiniest meow, and left the biggest stinkiest litter box "gifts". Ahem. He was a personality to say the least.

We let him do his own thing because he was so quiet, a total nap-cat type who liked to sleep a lot, but also because he was blind.

We were very worried about him going in and out of the house, because well, he couldn't see and would run into walls and doors, but he still had a wild streak and liked to spend time sunning on the patio. I think hubby knew as well as I did it was only a matter of time before Puffin was seriously hurt, but we gave kitty his freedom, letting him come and go as he pleased.

Mini found him out front and rushed in to tell us he found one of the cats dead. I went out and identified the body. Hubby and I carried him to the back yard and buried him next to the 2nd crepe myrtle along the property line. Very sad.

That was a few days before Christmas, and Mini was quite upset. He still gets teary talking about it, poor beast. The other cats were aware of what happened, and for days they acted like they didn't know what to do with themselves, particularly the indoor Meowzybub - the one who can't go out because he has a disorder that causes him to fall over a lot. He was used to having Puffin nap in the dining room with him.

Things have settled down somewhat, and Meowzybub has stopped pacing and crying for him. I guess he's realized the only cats coming back inside are his other brothers, Snowy Cat and Ginger. They groom him when he'll allow it, and sleep on the boxes with him to keep him company. He's also taken to sleeping at the foot of my bed. Meowzybub only recently re-learned to climb, and the only thing he's able to climb is onto the bed - a feat he seems very proud of once he manages to claw his way up here.

At any rate, I thought I should write this as a sort of memorial to Puff N' Stuff. He was a good kitty. He didn't like to be held or snuggled much; he was too proud for all that cuddling business. A very independent kitty, despite his quiet demeanor. He got lost by the back garden gate one day and was meowing for rescue. I was in the laundry room putting clothes in the dryer and happened to hear him. I sent Mini around back to carry Puff to the front yard, but no, kitty would have none of it. He jumped out of Mini's arms and waited for Mini to start walking, following him around the house to the front patio. There, kitty plopped down to sun himself on the concrete. Forever determined to do things his own way. We loved him, still do, and wish him endless peace and happiness across the rainbow bridge. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

One Step Closer

I'm one step closer to finishing the neverending project. I have one more scene to revise, then there's the epilogue to tackle. When planning out revisions, I decided to add an epilogue, but I was torn between two possible options for the closing scene. I've pretty much figured out now what I want that scene to be - it doesn't have to be long and elaborate, but I want it to reflect their new life happily ever after. Anyway, once I have the body of the book fully revised, I'll write and revise the epilogue in one time bloc. It seems like the most sensible way to do it.

I recently took a workshop on planning and productivity with the intention of gearing it toward my writing. I'm still on the fence about whether or not it was helpful or discouraging. I don't mind routine and ritual, but sometimes a process can be too complicated and that's what I thought of that workshop when I walked away from it. So I did what I always do. I went to Amazon and started looking for another book on productivity.

I don't know how many Kindle books I've read on the subject of writing productivity, but I'm willing to bet I've downloaded and read at least twenty of them just this year, from both known and unknown authors. None of them quite hit the mark when it comes to what I'm looking for. I waste entirely too much time per project, and I wanted that to be one of my major fixes in 2018. See, I'm already looking ahead to the New Year. However, I don't need a book that tells me to go to bed early, get up at 5 am to write, then to get plenty of exercise and mind my diet.

Just for the sake of those who would tell me, "But Cora, I promise you, getting up at 5 am will make you productive..." No. That is not how it would work at my house. When my husband is on days, he gets up to leave for work at 5 in the morning. If I got up at 5 am to write, it would never happen because I'd be fetching socks for hubby, making coffee, letting dogs out back to do their doggy business, and all our kitties would be yowling at me for an early breakfast. That would probably take the better part of an hour, and then Mini has be up at 6:15 to get ready for school. Getting up at 5 am in an attempt to write would just end up an extra hour of mommy-go-fetch before my morning routine usually starts. It is completely improbable and impossible for me to get any writing done at that hour. 

I need more of a project based productivity system. Something along the lines of "today we're gonna do this", and the end result will put us thereabouts here on a chart of project completion. And, if I'm behind that point, the guide gives me tips that will help me catch up without losing too much time. It doesn't need to be an exact science of steps, mind you, but if a guide can help me plan out my project in that sort of way where I can break it down into more manageable, actionable steps, that's what I need. It's what I'm looking for. And, so far, I haven't found it.

Before I go... Today's clip art is "christmas tree toys" by Keistutsis over at OpenClipArt.org. I think it's cute and festive. Okay, then. That's all for now. Until next time, happy wishes! 

Friday, December 01, 2017

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Xmas

It's December! Can you believe it?  It's been an extremely tough year for me, so I'm glad things are calming down, and we're heading into a new year. I'm ready for the change in energy that's supposedly coming in 2018. Now to just get through the holidays without wolfing down all the sugar cookies and icebox cherry cheese pie. I'm craving the stuff like you wouldn't believe!

At the moment, Hubs is sick. Mini just got over the crud, and now Hubs has it. He went to the doctor this morning and they gave him steroid shots, a CBC, chest x-rays, a breathing treatment, and a stack of prescriptions. Oh, and they took an EKG. Mercy. All he went in for was to get some antibiotics for his croupy cough. He's feeling better after the shots, which is great. He was joking around with MiniBeast this evening, so things seem more like normal around here. He's been mostly sleeping and going through fever-chill cycles for the past three days. It's been very quiet.

With a quiet house, what better to do than write? I have only a couple of scenes left to revise for Chasing Moonlight and it will be finished. Keeping a writing journal while working on the book has helped me figure out a couple of issues with my process, so that's one thing I'll be doing book to book from now on. On this current project, I've noticed when revising, transitions between scenes are what give me the most trouble. No idea why that is, but I spend a lot of time revising the transitions. Also, the loves scenes. They're fun to read, but difficult to write. I usually make extra editing passes through those to make sure there are no extra wandering hands or impossible positions going on.

I read a book just last week by a NYT best selling author where the hero was holding the heroine's hands above her head while he kissed his way down her body before settling in to "pleasure her". Throughout the entire scene, he's still holding her hands above her head. While reading the scene, I had this image in my mind of his arms getting longer and longer and longer the further he kissed his way down her body.

Yeh, my brain works like that. The scene was kinda funny, kinda creepy at the same time. It went from romantic to unintentional mutant sex within two paragraphs. Ah, well, it happens to the best of us, right? No book is perfect, certainly not my own. That said, I do try to be extra diligent when revising and watch for stuff like extend-o arms, extra legs and the like. If any other author could end up with unintentional mutant sex in a book, I certainly qualify as a valid candidate.

Before I go, just a quick mention that today's adorable, Christmas cottage clip art is by Inky 2010 at Open Clip Art. And....that's all for now. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Until next time, happy wishes!   

Friday, November 24, 2017

Brainstorming On Black Friday

I skipped Black Friday shopping this year. There's nothing that weirds me out quite like getting caught between people warring over the last microwave on sale and such. During my lifetime, I've done my fair share of waiting outside in the cold for that crazy midnight sales to get the latest Ninja Turtle toy for Oldest, but these days, I'd rather shop online and skip the added anxiety.

Instead of shopping, I stayed in and cleaned the house, then I worked on a couple of books. I've got a spot of editing left to do on Chasing Moonlight, and I've done a little more brainstorming on Seth's book. (Werekind Series) Since he's a pre-existing character, I already had a good idea of what I wanted the story to be about, the themes and events it would touch on, so that's been kind of fun, playing around with his character. He's very rough around the edges, and I love reading about heroes like that when they're the ones who fall in love. I picked out the cover for his story today, but I'm still on the fence about the title.

Speaking of books, I've been driving around with a box of used books to donate to the free section at the library for a couple of months now. It's there sitting on the backseat of my car. I see it every time I go to run errands, but then I always get sidetracked before I make it to the library and forget to drop them off. Well, maybe there was a subconscious reason for that. Or maybe I'm just reaching. Anyway, I thought I had my hoarder shelf pared down, and that I'd boxed everything I wanted to cull, then last night I went on the hunt for a paranormal romance that I'd bought years and years ago, and I found even more books that needed to go to the library. They're not even in genres that I gravitate to. I think some of these are books I was given, or I bought intending to read them, but never got around to it...because, well, they're not in genres I typically go for. Seriously, there are so many here, I need to get another box and go through the shelves again. A second pass, if you like. I figure this will be the feather that tips the scales for me. I need the backseat of my car for errands and hauling stuff around, so I very well can't drive around for months with two boxes of books on my backseat. Right? Right? *challenge accepted* We'll soon find out.

I don't know what it is about certain books, but I develop an attachment to them. Yes, it's very OCD of me, but I am that I am. I would never part with my Dell Abyss books, or my Piels, Feehans or Laymons, but the keeper shelves have reached ridiculous proportions. I have kept many books even though I know I will never, ever read them again. They've really got to go. Before Santa arrives, they've really gotta go. So, that's one more thing to add to my Christmas to-do list.

That's all for now. Until next time, stay safe out there in Black Friday shopping land. Best wishes!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

School is out, and MiniBeast is home with me this week. He's got a cold so we've been staying indoors, taking cold meds and watching movies. Other than a cough and sniffles, he's his usual cheery self. A total joy to be around. Hubby finished up his shift rotation today, too, so we're all chillaxing around the house and enjoying the time off. I just wrapped up a series of doctor visits on Monday, and I don't have to go back until January. It feels like a big burden has been lifted from my shoulders.

On Thursday we're having dinner with my Mom and Dad, and exchanging Christmas lists. My current obsession is scented markers, I kid you not. I've been editing with them lately and really enjoy using them. There is a pack that has "movie scents" like buttered popcorn and rootbeer. That's the set I want. So that's going on the list for me. The only other gift I know for sure is on anyone's request list is for Dad. He wants a drone.

Onward to writerly things. I have one more chapter to revise, and an epilogue to write and revise, before this revamp of Chasing Moonlight will be ready to upload. It's slowly coming together, but I purposely saved the most challenging section for last. I want to make a few passes over it this week, but I find it nearly impossible to work with the guys home (too distracting). Even so, I'm going to try to make the first pass over the full chapter tonight just to see what's in there and what is missing. I know at least two of the scenes need expanding/fleshing out, but I won't know how work intensive it is until I get in there and start sorting words.

I'll be glad to see this one published and off the table, so I can focus 100% on something else. I have another project waiting in the wings, and I'm ready to tackle it and make it my priority piece. I had thought about making it my NaNoWriMo story for this year, but I ended up skipping NaNo to finish the revisions for Chasing Moonlight. C'est la vie. Maybe I can do a fast draft for December, instead?

That's all for now. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Until next time, best wishes!