Blogging, Writing, and … Creativity

OH MY. BLOGGING IS FUN, but there are times … I want to make sure it’s not all “moans and groans” or so boring that you are unable to get through without dozing off. I certainly hope neither has been the case since I got serious in my blogging.

This week has been filled with challenges to carve out any time to write. It’s already Friday and the above is all I’ve managed to write in a week (insert eye roll …). I’m finding my brain is resisting any cohesive thoughts that can be strung together for a blog—there’s just too much “stuff” filling my head. I’ve been trying … I’ve resorted to taking my binder with my edit for the first book with me wherever I go in a feeble attempt to do some writing, whether blog related or not. The funny thing is, in the places I figure I’ll have plenty of time to work (the usual long waits at doctors offices, etc), I’m finding that I just get settled and I’m interrupted. Maybe I should bring work more often (giggle) since the wait times seem shorter when I have something I’m trying to accomplish. And places I “know” I’ll never have time, but bring it with me anyway … well, it seems I’m the most productive then. Go figure.

So … my first run-through of book one in my Secrets Beyond Scymaria series is finished (finally!), but I need to go through at least one more time (I’ve already begun) before I turn it over to my editor for a “second-pass” professional edit. This book did not get a real professional edit before it was published and I apologise to those of you that read it and found the errors. Now that I’ve a new publisher, Inknbeans Press will be republishing the “new and improved” edition—hopefully by this fall and book two (which has had a professional edit) should follow closely on its heels. This means all of my books will be with one publisher. This is a very good feeling for me and makes me want to do a happy dance. Perhaps by spring of 2018 I’ll finally have book four published—it was put on hold so I could get the first two books pulled from Xlibris and republished by Inknbeans. Sigh, and to be honest, it was on hold because my brain wasn’t working right for so long that I couldn’t muster any true creativity. That is now a thing of the past and I am finally eager to dive back into books four and five. I’m definitely doing a happy dance (insert humongous grin).

And, on top of all of that, Joyce Oroz (my mystery writer friend) and I have already begun doing book signings. Friday night we spend three hours at a local Starbucks hawking our books to coffee drinkers. It was fun. In the quiet moments, she and I strategised for upcoming book signings, fine tuning what was on the current agenda and adding yet another potential event to August.

So … seeing as this blog is already two days late, I’d better get it posted. Here’s the schedule (the link will take you to my business Facebook page):  2017 Book Signing and Appearances Schedule  Have a good Sunday and a wonderfully blessed week. I’ve got a quiet week so I’m hoping for a creatively productive week of writing! Until Friday, cheers!

 

Blogging and Writing

IT’S WHAT I DO, RIGHT? SO WHEN my new “boss” at Inknbeans Press said I needed to write a blog, I just flew right into it … wrong. It’s really quite funny what new things do to the psyche. I’ve written blogs about all sorts of things—even about me. But somehow, this feels different. And I felt a wee bit self-conscious.

Usually, I write what I’m lead to write. I write when I want to write … and I have self-imposed deadlines, which if missed are not a big deal. But for this blog, I needed guidance. It wasn’t my blog that my words were going in and I wanted to do it right. And on time. As I did a little back and forth with “Boss Bean”—that’s what everyone at Inknbeans Press call her (love it!) … and waiting, I began forming the blog. It grew into a behemoth of a blog in no time—1300+ words. Yikes! Now, the task of a massive edit lays before me (now that I have perimeters to work with)—to divide and bring two pieces to a more manageable 500-600 word count. One is due next Thursday (panic mode engaging in three … two … one ...). The second one is due mid-September.

The cool thing is, these two blogs I need to do bring me closer to publication of my third book—finally. I know I’ve been saying … for a very, very long time it was just about ready to be published, but this time—thank God—it’s for real (insert monster grin … and Snoopy’s famous happy dance) and I am so excited.

Boss Bean has “forced” me into actually doing some promotion for it by requiring this blog. And, believe it or not, I kinda like it. The vanity press did no such thing—with a “we’ll do it for you … for a price” attitude (and yet, didn’t do much for me)—leaving me to grapple with how and when to do so. It’s all a learning process—but this is a whole bunch more enjoyable way to learn. Believe me!

But, because of this deadline—and the upcoming weekend event (WestEnd Celebration in Sand City … Open Ground Studio will be there with hands-on demonstrations) … plus another event I have next weekend—neither of which I have yet to finish preparing for, my blog post is limited to this little blurb (sniggle … just looked at the word count—I’ve managed to stretch into over 400 words already!)

So, my friends, until next week, I bid you adieu. May your week be blessed with delightful surprises to buoy you through the normal drudgery of your week.

 

 

Drawing A Blank…

WELL, THIS IS UNUSUAL. MY BRAIN SEEMS to be blank—at least where my blog is concerned. Well, I do have fleeting ideas, but none manage to take root. Often, when I’m driving around town, an idea comes to me and churns ’round in my mind till it forms into a line of thought. But this week, nothing. Nada.

This is when I consider going through my photos to come up with a pictoral blog. Usually, about half way through rooting around all the pictures, I come up with a nice blog—one of prose. It’s only Tuesday. We’ll see what happens…

And now…it’s Thursday and I’m still drawing a blank. My edit has my mind fully engaged in the story. Working on making it better—with the help of my awesome editor, David Antrobus—with each pass. Surprisingly, I’m having fun going through the edit and re-reading what I’ve written (this does not mean it’s not hard to make the changes needed—unfortunately, it seems that will always be a challenge). I will never get tired of this story I’ve created and the characters (especially the two protagonists) that have evolved. They each have such a distinct persona. I love it. I find myself giggling and/or shaking my head at their antics, actions and thoughts. And, thankfully, they are still developing. Growing. My children (insert huge grin here).

I’ve read somewhere that the characters in a writer’s story are usually bits of that writer’s own persona. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I have drawn characteristics from people around me—and, yes…I guess some from me, too—to make them real, to give them depth. I certainly hope I have succeeded.

Working concurrently on both book three’s edit and the creation of book four has helped keep the continuity of their character…but at the same time it has slowed my progress on each one—trememdously. In addition, writing/editing has made it difficult to concentrate and create this weekly blog. I certainly don’t want to discontinue the blog…but it may get a bit spotty now and then as I struggle to juggle so many different things. For this, I am apologizing in advance. Though I hate to just fill the space with “fluff”—I’ll endeavor to avoid this—at the very least, I’ll try to post a few photos of what life has thrown my way during the week. You may (insert wink) get tired of my dog and cat…and Point Lobos…

I’ll keep you posted on my writing/editing progress, for sure. But, I do have a visit to Gallifrey One Convention in LA at the beginning of next month, so at least one blog will be about my adventures there. For those unfamiliar, I am a Doctor Who fan. It’s a on-going science fiction tv series from the 60s…still going strong. Gallifrey is the Doctor’s home planet, hence the name of the convention event. I stumbled upon it in mid-70s when Tom Baker portrayed the Doctor. I haven’t been to a convention is a zillion years, so this event aught to be interesting…. I’ll probably be one of the oldest attendees (giggle). Like I said…interesting.

Trying to sneak in a book signing whilst I am in LA was on my agenda, but it looks like that’s not going to happen. Perhaps in March—I’ll be back down in Southern California then for a family reunion…I just have to see if I can round up critter sitters for the extended time I’m gone.

So, this has been a mish-mash of thoughts, ideas and an apology. I’ll try to keep my future blogs a wee bit more focused. In the meantime, I hope this next week is filled with amazing discoveries, good books to take you far afield and blessed with friends and family to share your life’s adventures.

 

 

I’m Back On Track…

FUNNY HOW TIME FLIES when you really aren’t wanting it to. I cannot believe it’s been so long since I last made a blog entry. I’ve tried. I’ve started a few that have languished and “died on the vine”, as it were.

Trying to get the book published has been all-consuming and once I signed off on that last bit, I thought I could sit back and plan the next phase…marketing. ‘Hiccups’ in the publishing road have kept me preoccupied. Pesky health issues have slowed me down. Even peskier problems with my blog have frustrated me when I’ve needed access. Travel (with no reliable internet) has delayed things and the next two books, waiting to be polished, languish–just like my NaNoWriMo project (book four). I’m already at day ten and only have 3,001 words written. That’s a mere 300 words per day. A pittance compared to what I should be writing (1,667/day).

The struggles and preoccupations of everything have keep the creative flow blocked.

So, here it is, 1:30 in the morning (well, it was probably closer to one I started) and I can’t sleep because–finally, random words and phrases are not just bouncing around but melding together and finding their way down the canyons of my mind to crystallize into written thoughts.

Am I frustrated at the hour they chose to form? Well, yes…and no. I could really use a few good nights sleep, but I’m awake, so–what the heck. I don’t have to get up and sit in front of the computer, thanks to today’s technology. I’m snug in bed, in the dark, with the only illumination being the screen of my iPhone, glaring back at me with my written words. The only sounds are intermittent heavy breathing and occasional snores from my four-legged babies, and the half-hour reminders from my antique clock on the mantle downstairs. It’s amazing how easy it is for me to put my thoughts onto this dinky device. Thank God!

So, until my eyes get tired, or thoughts stop flowing, I will write. Then I will sleep. Perhaps I’ll get a few good blogs begun during these wee hours.

Who knows.

One thing I do know–it is a very nice feeling to have the creativity flowing once again.

Even if it is two in the morning.

Photography VS Writing — and NaNoWriMo

HA!  TWO BLOGS IN ONE DAY!  That’s a first.  Can you tell I don’t want to do any house/yard chores?

My photography has taken a back seat to my writing.  And my writing has taken a back seat to simple, every-day living (aka: chores).  And I guess I should add that my chores have just taken a back seat, period.  At least, for today.

About the only thing I’ve done photographically speaking is to snap shots with my smart phone (nice in its tiny format, but forget about blowing it up to any size other than the original) and my point-n-shoot (much better, but the phone always seems more handy).  No serious, day-long trudges to the hills or shoreline to suck up some much needed out-door time and one-on-one with nature.  The 365 (as in, year-long!) photo journal on Flickr languishes…untouched since mid-June.   Even all of my other art projects are on the back burner.  Waiting for time, re-organizing, behind closed doors.

As for my writing, the most I’ve done is to tinker with my blog.  The result has been a few good posts over the last week.   I’ve occasionally tried to figure out how to insert a photo into the blog — unsuccessful…I’ll keep trying.

All of the tools that I have to create amazing things, both physical and mental, sit there unused.  It makes me sad.

There are times I want to go screaming through the “house”, flinging open every single “door” splitting myself into however many pieces needed so that I can dive into each one of those favourite things — for a very long, long time.  They are such an integral  part of me and I have not allowed myself the pleasure of being fully me for what seems like forever, because of the drudgery  called every-day life.  Being a ‘slave’ to my house and yard, with so many tasks that need to be done (and I am an excellent Procrastinator–hmmm…think we’ve talked about that–this blog has allowed me that).  To be a ‘slave’ to my physically deteriorating body (some natural, some caused by overdoing), with all of the aches and pains that go with it means that it takes longer to accomplish all those mundane tasks.

There is a story in me — no, let me correct myself .  There is a plethora of stories in me, pushing and shoving behind another closed door, waiting to burst forth.  On November first–the first day of NaNoWriMo, I plan on throwing open that particular door to allow the ideas to leap out, dancing around, waiting for me to noticed.  Teasing me, wanting me to snatch them out of the air, frame them into sentences, paragraphs and chapters, to finally create a completed story — or series of stories that will be bound into book(s) — sorry…I am a tactile reader…I do read on-line material, but for me, it’s so important to hold that book.  To physically turn those pages.  Into book form for (hopefully) my readers.  There will most likely be an e-reader form for those of you so inclined, but I want to see the words popping out from a bound book.

That is what November holds for me.

But until then, I continue to putter here, there and try to force myself to get my boring chores done.

And look what I was finally able to do!  A photo inserted into my blog!  That makes me happy!

National Novel Writing Month

Pencils and mind sharpened, computer charged…ready to go, with only eleven days to go!