Monthly Archives: December 2014

At Home with New Goals

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Happy Holidays, All

We’ve managed to make it through to Christmas week without losing ourselves.  Or did we?

NaNo took the last of my writing reserves and wiped the floor with me, leaving me to put myself together again during December. And what have I been doing this month, writing wise?

Well, I’ve revised and combined two chapters on Dreamie’s Box and little else. The next few days will see me doing study duties on a writing course. I did beta testing on new software for writer Holly Lisle’s new course. That was a blast that was.

As part of the testing, I got to read pages of stories, some of which I hadn’t seen before. I’ll read Holly’s stuff anytime I can get my hands on it and now I’m going to have to get the full versions to read the rest of each story. Love it!

004-stock-photo-nAfter the holidays, I’ll work on my 2015 Editorial Calendar. My write-in group will go over goals for the next year at our first official meeting in January. It helps with accountability. It also forces me to implement a pacing program for myself. I don’t want to put myself into the same situation that I had this year. That’s my primary goal for the next year.

004-stock-photo-mIf you’re serious about writing, I strongly suggest putting together a writing group, whether as a critiquing unit or as a write-in cluster. Why? Accountability, feedback, writing energy generator; all of these come into play. If you’ve got dedicated people around you, your writing will improve and be extended.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to work on domestic chores. Like many of you, I have a few gifts still to put together. I make all of my own gifts if I possibly can. I still have a few to go. They may be small, but they’re intricate and tedious by nature.

004-stock-photo-oNow that I’ve got my mind cleared away from all that didn’t get done this autumn, I can concentrate on what I really want to do in the next six/twelve months. I can settle comfortably into a writing routine that includes both of my groups. And above all, I can redefine who I am as a writer. That’s become important to me in this past couple of months.

My philosophy has shifted a bit and I must take a good look at where I want to go and which path serves me best. I have the time now to do that before I lock myself into a calendar of projects for 2015.

I’m hoping to get much more done on both of my websites. I’ve neglected each of them abysmally and I need to correct my course. That’s also high on my list of goals.

008-stock-photo-xComing to these conclusions has caused me difficulty. Why? Because I seriously considered walking away from writing during my time away. I can’t, but I considered it.

Now, I must forge a new relationship with all of you and what I do with this site and my writing in general. Major changes probably won’t appear, but there will be changes on a smaller scale. That’s the nature of moving through time.

Having said that, dedication to including all of you in my weekly struggles will become more pronounced. I hope you won’t mind too much. The transparency will do me good, and hopefully, help others understand that sunny and bright isn’t always the weather of the day. Storms with rain/snow/hail/and high winds come along unexpectedly and must be dealt with.

Along the way will be a lesson or two learned the hard way, which is the only way I know how to learn anything. I’ve got the bruises to prove the hard knocks.

Until I see you all next week, enjoy each day as it comes and forget about what might happen  (or might not happen) sometime in the future. The present is what charts the course to tomorrow, even if tomorrow doesn’t exist. There is only today. That’s where the future begins. It’s 007-stock-photo-b

Have a comforting and blessed holiday. I’ll see you all on the other side. Take care and God bless.

 

 

At Home with December’s Wintry Season and Writing

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It’s snowing here again—at least two inches of fresh whiteness with more on the way has cars slipping and snowplows scraping. How is it where you are?

It’s taken this long to get through the worst of burn-out and back into active writing mode. NaNoWriMo helped with boost me out of my shell. And, thankfully, NaNo is over. The pace can slacken off now.

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For those who picked up the NaNo challenge, my congratulations. Those who’ve done it for a few years know the story draft is always horrendous. That’s its purpose. Now you have the kernel from which to grow a great story. Muse gave you the bones of it. All you have to do is flesh it out the way your want.

I have one piece of advice for that revision process. Let the thing lay unattended for a while. Ignore the pulsing drive to go back and really dig into it. If you have a beginning outline for it, great! If you don’t, that’s okay too.

Take an hour or two to review your outline or create a new one. When you go back to the story in a few weeks or more, you’ll have something to hang on to while you read through it again. Your perspective will be clearer. Also, in the interim, Muse will tweak your brain with tiny tidbits of additional business or a subplot twist that helps explain/intensify the backstory or plot subtleties. 001-bonus-things-j

Instead of plunging into something new to offset that continuing push to write, consider going back to something that’s sitting on your hard drive or out in a Cloud somewhere. Pull out something old, do a rewrite and edit and send that puppy out to a market. Use NaNo’s momentum to keep you focused on production. After all, it doesn’t have to be anything more grandiose than a poem submission to an online magazine/journal.

It’s something submitted. The confidence boost will do you good. Think of it as a present to yourself.

You might ask what I wrote for NaNo. Believe it or not, it was a women’s fiction novel. I wasn’t a rebel this year. The story doesn’t fit into any one genre specifically. It has a bit of western, some romance, a texture-1crime mystery, and other bits to keep it interesting. I hope. It’s also resting now. I’ll deal with it sometime in next year.

At the moment I’m finishing a complete revision and edit of Dreamie’s Box, my women’s cozy mystery. That will keep me occupied this month. January has a couple of complete revisions to do on shorter pieces. In fact, that’s my plan for much of next year—revisions and submissions of my backlog fiction.

Plans are to show up here and on my other website every week from now on. I’m through being a victim to unrelenting 004-stock-photo-owriting. Instead, I’m moving toward a balance in my life that includes more non-writing activity. I’ve learned, once and for all, that ambition and aspiration can bring you to your knees or worse. I’m taking lessons in tempered living with mindful focus.

So, there you have it. Much of this year has been a trial, but I came through. Here’s a tidbit for you, if you haven’t experienced it before.

The hardest thing I’ve had to do in the past few months is create a post for this website. Obstacles of guilt and other 010-texture-008unpleasant emotions keep throwing up walls to keep me away. It’s become a habit to carry a sledgehammer with me for use on those walls.

Take care, peeps. Write a little bit each day, even if it’s only a clever shopping list for the holiday. Tell someone you love how you feel and that you appreciate them, and enjoy life while you have it and keep safe.

I’ll be back in a few days, I promise. It’s on my to do list each week now in big RED letters. Later!