Coming in from the cold

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A lull in the storm. Not pictured: Howling, 50mph winds from the bowels of Hades with cutting, razor teeth, and crazy drivers.

My part of Texas is currently experiencing epic blizzard conditions at the moment, and I have to tell you, all that snow?  Entirely unwelcome here.  It can go take a hike in some other state, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to.  So I am going to sit here in my bed, my little dog warming my feet, and pretend Jared Padalecki is going to come in with cups of hot cider and keep me company.

*drools*

Anyway, with the weather and time off for the holiday, I’ve had some more time to write, and I can finally update the blog!  I didn’t forget about it, but the holidays are the worst time for me to do anything here with all the preparations and coming down off my NaNo high.  Now that I’m pretty much snowed in for the next couple days, I will be lining up posts to breathe some life back into the site.  😀

First up, my writing projects:

I am knee deep in work for my NaNo novel, the next Witches of Texas book.  It’s coming along nicely.  I took a break from revising and writing to do some brainstorming and plan out what I want to keep or cut.  The result is cutting a lot of what I wrote during the first part of NaNo, but I’m happy with that.  Most of that was crap and did not jive with the overall story at all.  The writing I produced near the end of November actually had good merit, so I’m parsing that away from the rest and building around it.

I wrote short stories!  Two of them so far.  One takes place within the Witches of Texas universe, the other does not.  I’ll be posting them after another round of editing, so be on the lookout.  I have plans for a couple more shorts; additional news on them when they are underway.

Second up, my NaNo reports:

This NaNo was a great one.  Hands down, I had fun, I learned (and re-learned) some important writing lessons, and I churned out some good material at the end.  Some of the things I learned were:

  • Outlines change.  You can maybe keep 10% of an outline by the time you’re done writing.  And that’s okay.
  • You need to test out all your ideas.  Yes, even the wacky time travel one where they end up babysitting a passel of kids while traveling wagon-train style through the wilderness.  (Yes, I really did write that in November.)
  • Self-discipline is hard, but oh, so worth it.  Turning off the internet greatly aids the process.
  • It takes writing a ton of garbage before you can find your character’s true voice.  Even a character you’ve known and written for a long time.
  • Throwing everything and the kitchen sink at your characters’ heads might feel too over the top, but it keeps the writing interesting and the writer interested in continuing.  Excessiveness can be fixed in editing, but lack of excitement can kill the story before it’s ever finished.

I’ll expand more on those in the coming days.  Suffice to say, this NaNo was productive and educational, and I’m happy with what I wrote.

Now it’s off to make some breakfast and finish editing those short stories.  Doesn’t look like Jared Padalecki will be stopping by anytime soon with that cider.  Ah, well.  A girl can dream.

Cheers!

Cold and Flu Season is a Bitch

Uuughhhhhhhhh.

Euuuurrrrrrrgggfffff.

*Zombie donkey noises*

*Cryptkeeper music plays*

It’s ALIVE.

Mostly.

Maybe.

Kind of.

Sorry I haven’t been around, guys.  On Christmas Eve Eve I got sideswiped with this chest cold shit and am only now returning to semi-humanness.

Being sick suuuuuuuuucks.  It’s nothing but sharp and prickly-edged pain, like, everywhere in a haze of cough drops, throat spray, broth, and endless herbal concoctions.  Normally my brain fires on fifty cylinders in seventy directions, but it all came to a screeching halt for the past week.  I felt like a damn vegetable.  All I could do was sit up and cough and play some farming game app, for the irony, of course.  That’s all the concentration I had.  My Mom laughed at me.  For serious, she would walk by and I’d be propped up in my pillow nest, sucking despondently on peppermint tea with my nose all red and raw and my forehead wrinkled because I was fully engrossed in planting rotating fields and she’d snicker.

I made a pretty pathetic picture.  But Mom would bring me stuff and braved the cold to get me lotionified tissues, so she’s forgiven.

Now I’m trying to catch up on all the blog posts I was supposed to write and put out.  My goal is to get ahead by a couple weeks so most of January is taken care of, and to write and finish all three or four projects currently sitting open and staring at me.  Like a den of hungry chupacabra awakened from hibernation.

Oy vey.  Wish me luck.

Also, have a picture of my baby girl, Manche.  I’m convinced she helped cuddle me better this past week.  Even if she does have shit breath and farts like a locker room of teenage boys.

Manche, the shit breathed Boston Terrier warrior princess.
Manche, the shit breathed Boston Terrier warrior princess.

Also, advice if you happen to come down with this crap as well:

Peppermint tea is AWESOME.  Drink it hot and it’s actually soothing on a ravaged throat.

A long hot shower.  I sprinkle essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender on the shower walls above the spray line and put the water as hot as I can stand it.  Make sure you close the bathroom door!  The oils and the steam really help break that shit up in your chest.

Broth.  My Mom makes ours in the crock pot and keeps it going for days, adding water whenever we take any out.  Drink a couple cups a day.  Add spices like black pepper, turmeric, and salt for more cold fighting benefits, and for taste.

Sleep.  Sleep for hours.  Wake up and eat and then sleep some more.

I could go on and on, but just head over and comb through Mom’s site.  Herbs and fighting colds and shit is her forte and she even has a book out on what to do for colds and flus here.

Crazy Ink Slinger out.

Completely UnTraditional: 5 Tips for a Non Stressful Christmas

I won’t lie, I kinda suck at holiday planning and prepping.  I’m a procrastinator of all things I don’t wanna deal with until the last moment.  Christmas is usually like a far off glimmer of blinking icicle lights: oh so pretty to look at, thats some awesome color schemes there, but wow, lookit, I found this on the ground!  Cue distraction in every other direction besides jolly fat old men and annoying overdone carols.

Then it sneaks up.

Like a stalking velociraptor.

Clever bastard.

It lurks in the background starting in October, slowly gaining more and more momentum.  Red and white and glitter sneaks into the end cap displays of every store.  Feliz Navidad increases volume.  Posters and pics of turkeys spread out like a Playboy centerfold infiltrate every freaking ad.  You’d think that would be enough, but hahahahahahahaha, yeah no.

Suddenly, out of the wild evergreen yonder, Christmas bursts forth in all its snowy, jingly, commercialized glory with its mistletoe hanging out and everything.

Christmas is the most stressful holiday of the year.  There is this huge pressure on the holiday for everything to be perfect, from the decorations to the presents to the food to the atmosphere, and you’re supposed to be happy and joyful while radio and TV stations shove holiday cheer down your throat.

The expectations riding on a single December day really dampens the entire holiday.  So my solution has been to go off book and make Christmas Untraditional.  Here are a couple of things I do to make the holiday more enjoyable.

1.  Switch up the menu.

Turkey.  Ham.  Green bean casserole.  That jiggly purple stuff that no one eats but everyone serves.  (Edit: I’ve been informed that stuff is cranberry, not chilled monster goo.  Am slightly disappointed.)  With most of the same stuff being served at Thanksgiving, sometimes it feels like you’d rather gnaw on your own leg than eat another gorging round of the same rich food.  So don’t.

This year it’s just me and my Mom at home and then a quick trip elsewhere with my Dad to eat with extended family, so Mom and I decided to have Hawaiian fajitas and one pie.  That’s all and that’s it.  No million dishes we can’t even fit in the fridge and no seriously rich food with the exception of the pie.  Easy peasy, lemon squeazy, and about a quarter of the time spent in the kitchen.  We’re using the rest of that time marathoning wonderful Christmas movies.  Like Die Hard.

2. Simple gift giving.

I, sadly, am not rich.  Like, at all, and not even as semi broke as usual thanks to my move, so gifts have been a bit of a stressor.  But the thing is, the holiday really isn’t about stuff, as mainstream media likes to remind us ever so often between toy ads.  There are more than enough ways to give without enslaving yourself to the debt troll if you just sit down and figure out what you are capable of.

Since I moved in with my Mom and we share a house, we decided to make gifts for the house.  Yes, you read that right.  Neither of us are design fashionistas or anything, but we both have similar tastes in decor.  Specifically, we like rustic looking things.  So we are gathering natural materials (sticks, rocks, dried animal bones, leaves, feathers, whatever is on the ground) to create decorations to hang on the walls.  Then there’s more of us we’ve put into the house, and that helps make it a home.  Ain’t that part of the holiday spirit?

3. A ban on music.

I am a music junkie, and I’m fond of certain kinds of Christmas music.  But after a couple trips to the grocery store anytime between October and now the radio stations cross my thin line of tolerance and merge into an unjolly red zone.  I refuse to listen to holiday music in the house and car until week of.  Sometimes like three days before.  Not only does it prevent me from hearing every freaking rendition of all ten Christmas songs in existence, it makes the experience of finally listening to them later much more enjoyable.  But until then, this place is rocking with hair bands, soundtracks, punk, and cheesy 90’s classics.  Viva la electric guitar, suckers!

4. Ditch the Perfection Virus.

And it is a virus.  The idea of perfection takes hold like a flu and fucks you up worse than the plague, and, because it’s the image the media likes to sell the most, it’s the hardest idea to outrun.  Perfection is a myth, though, plain and simple.  Life is full of potholes and speed bumps, just as the holidays are full of kitchen disasters and unruly relatives.  You can’t control the variables, but you can choose to enjoy yourself no matter what, and relax about the details.  The details don’t make the holiday.  Your attitude, outlook, and reaction to the missteps are what make it.  So choose to be joyful.  Choose to see the good that comes along with the annoying.

5. Whatever happens, you can always use it for a story.

Uncle Jim got drunk and set the curtains on fire?  Smile and catalogue the details.  Aunt Lenore misplaced her keys and decided the dog ate them?  Sneakily take notes.  Did cousin Larry decide he could tap dance and break the coffee table?  Again?  Laugh until you hurt but keep your vid app going, you want to be recording that.  The good thing about the holidays is that you will always find enough fictional fodder to fill your pages if you’re receptive to it.  Just remember to alter the situations a bit and change all the names and you’ll be golden.

Over all, I think the most important thing to remember during the holidays is that they come around once a year, and they don’t last forever.  Just have fun, be grateful, and don’t overdo the whiskey nog.  You wanna remember the details, not find them on Youtube because little cousin Lisa is devious as hell.  That’s your job.

Anxiety and Stress – Tips on Being Kind to Yourself

I just got off of a three to four week stress junket thanks to work, and it’s one of those times where my brain is simply fried.  I have tried my best to write and get ahead on my projects, but it simply isn’t happening because my brain is beyond exhausted.  I am tired and whiny and sore and overwhelmed.  I want to cry and I want to scream and I have the greatest urge to curl up or punch someone in the face, I haven’t decided yet.  Work has been, in a word, hell, and writing is like a distant mirage; I know exactly where I need to go, but I just can’t seem to reach it.

We all get like this sometimes.  And sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between just having a stressful couple of weeks versus wondering if you’re falling down the rabbit hole of depression again, because the symptoms can be so similar.  It’s especially hard when you have to balance work and writing and neither seem to happen as you’d like and you keep falling farther behind on both – kind of like the snake eating its tail type thing that never ends and only gets worse.

I would say being a writer is hard, but really, being human is just hard, no matter if you write or not.  So I wanted to do a little reminder post for  me and everyone else who may be in the same boat.

1.  Be kind to yourself.

You are only human.  You make mistakes.  Beating yourself up for being less than perfect at anything will not help you improve, it will only make it harder, and then you will feel worse and beat yourself up more.  Take a breather.  Take a step back.  Order a pizza or some ice cream, let yourself rest.  You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel after being kind to yourself.  The problems you face will still exist, but you’ll be better able to face them.

2.  Sort out your priorities.

Make a list of everything that needs doing.  Then make a second list organizing them from most pressing to least.  Then tackle one at a time starting at the top.  Mount Everest is a big motherfucker, but it can be conquered one step at a time.

3.  Find something to laugh at.

Humor, even gallows humor, is enough to make anything bearable, especially if you can share it with someone.  Find something to laugh at, even if it’s fucking ridiculous.

4.  Stand your ground.

You cannot please all people all the time, nor should you.  Standing up for yourself, especially if you have problems liking yourself, is real damn hard, but you are worth it.  You have worth.  You are not a door mat.  Figure out your boundaries and then enforce them.  This takes some work, sometimes a lot of work, but you have got to do this if you want to keep your sanity.  That means saying no to some people and meaning it.  No is an awesome word, and an even awesomer feeling.  Start using it and let the guilt fall away.  You are not responsible for the world and everyone in it, just you and your small corner, which does not encompass everyone who thinks they ought to be there.  That is your space, you get to choose.

5.  Kick the apocalyptic undertones in the ass.

The world is not going to end just because you fail or cannot accomplish something.  Repeat that again with me: the world is not going to end.  There are always consequences in life, but 98% of them will not end in fire and brinstome and endless elevator music.  Things might suck for a bit.  You might have to resort your priorities, put in some extra hours, choose a new direction, but the world will not end.  You will be okay.  I think that is the hardest to come to terms with, because many of us have varying degrees of perfectionism and fear of failure, but it’s impossible to meet all expectations at once.  Just take a deep breath, let it out, and know that no matter what happens, you will be okay.  Just keep going.  Keep breathing.  One step at a time.  Accept the consequences you cannot change and keep moving forward.

I still have trouble remembering a lot of this, but I’ve been getting better over time.  Giving myself permission to be human has done wonders for me.  I understand myself and my limitations a lot better.  I know how far I can push myself, I know how far I should, and I’m getting better at prioritizing.  I love saying no.  I do not have to be a doormat.  Sometimes I still slip up, sometimes I get horribly overwhelmed.  That’s humanity.  That’s life.  I just have to remember to tell myself that I can always try again, because the world will not end with this one mistake.

So be kind to yourselves.  You are all human (except for you in the corner.  You know who you are *suspicious eye squints*) and imperfection is what keeps us from being scary boring Stepford Wives.  Keep stepping forward and learn to take care of yourself.  After a while, most everything will fall into place, and you will find your groove.

ETA:  Also, remember that you are never alone.  It’s not a weakness to ask for help, or to reach out.  Talk to  friend, a trusted family member, or even a stranger.  Everyone ends up in the same place sooner or later.  You don’t have to be alone.

Inner peace and love and awesomeness, peeps.  Ya’ll be good to yourselves.

Bow Down, Peasants, For It Is My Birthday

So, it’s my birthday today, and since it is and it’s my blog I’m going to deviate from strictly writing or story stuff for this post, because hey, I am reigning supreme here in this space and I feel like it.  And it’s my birthday.  😀

(This also means that no one gets to yell at me for not posting the usual stuff like I said I would.  I WILL, never fear, I’ve just been tied up with inventory at the 9-5 and there’s only two of us working, so, yay, mountains to move and only four hands to dig and all that jazz).

Anyway, I haven’t been a big fan of birthdays for the past seven or eight years.  Side effect of shitty situations and depression.  Each one came around and it was always kind of a surprise, you know.  Shit, I made it another year.  Fuck.  I’m still tired.  I don’t feel like being happy about it.  This year, wonder upon wonders, I woke up smiling.

The past year and a half has been hard, because fighting your way out of depression is harder than falling into it, and it’s not a battle you ever win completely.  It’s a war that keeps going, you just learn how to fight better.  I’ve had a lot of setbacks, but I’ve also had a lot of wins, and the wins are starting to stack higher than the losses, which is just fucking awesome-sauce, you know?  Especially with my writing.  I mean, I published a story last month.  I started sharing other stories here, and people actually like them.  Writing is the one thing that kept me breathing many times, so the accomplishments I’ve made this year, they count for an awful lot in the war.

So, it’s my birthday and I’m actually happy.  Even though I have to work and do inventory, I’m incredibly happy, and this is going to mark a start of birthdays I’m going to enjoy the shit out of.

So, if you’re in the same place, just know that you can walk through your hell, and then you can take the fucking throne.  I have, and let me tell you, the crown is mighty nice.

Happy birthday to me, and to you, because you’ve survived if you’re reading this.

Now go eat cake and cobbler and steak in my honor and enjoy my fucking birthday anthem, and the fine piece of smooth southern whiskey voice that is Christian Kane, because today is also Friday and this is the best song to end the work week with.

Game Plans and Sentient Knees

Okay, so, I wanna apologize for the lack of regular posts lately that aren’t story posts.  The story posts will definitely continue, but I feel bad because I have, like, four regular posts in the draft stages that I just haven’t been able to edit up and post yet.  Life has been kicking my butt, first with getting sick and now inventory at work, and then my knees going sentient this morning and becoming major assholes.

No, seriously, not kidding about the last one.  It’s like:

Knees: Fuck you to infinity and beyond, bitch.  *horrible creaky stair noises*

Me:  Shut up, I am not that old yet.

Knees:  Don’t care.  *angry faces*  *waves middle finger*

Don’t give me that look.  If you’re knees haven’t become sentient bastards yet, they will.  I hate popping Excedrin, but I’ve had to today.  That shit makes me semi-high, so at least I’ll be a barrel of laughs.

*cue Shiloh spinning around in the computer chair and talking to imaginary talking cacti*

So, anyway, that’s my apology.  And I have another story post coming after this one, and then this weekend I will get my derrière in gear and get those normal posts  edited and coherent and there will be regular postings again.

Sound good?  Good.  Great.  That’s the plan.

This has been a PSA.  You may return to your regular schedules morning.

Dealing With The Daily Grind

Writing is not my day job.  At present it does’t bring in any income at all for me, though I am working to change that.  That means I am chained to a different job, probably like most of you reading this, a regular nine-to-five grind at a place I would rather not be.

I’ll be up front with you, it’s not a picnic and it’s not what I envisioned for myself two, four, ten years ago.  (For one, I figured there would be more apocalyptic mayhem and genetically engineered dragons.)  It pays the bills, though.  The day job keeps me clothed and fed, but not happy, and never satisfied.

(The distinct lack of dragons is still a big factor.)

That probably describes most of the people in the workforce.  We would all rather be doing something different, something we feel passionate about, something that fulfills us.  The only way we will get there is by deciding we want that, then planning and executing those plans.  And, meanwhile, we have to put up with less than fun jobs that will take care of us until we can make the dream happen.

I’ve had quite a few jobs since I started working.  As a kid I earned money by raising animals, chiefly goats, rabbits, and pigs.  When my parents ran a restaurant at a state park for a summer I made a little bit of money waitressing and running the bait shop (I was 11, I think).  I helped take care of a herd of cattle and horses and fixed fence as a teen.  At 17-19 I was a librarian, and then a greenhouse clerk.  When gardening season ended I became a cafe cook, the a health food store clerk, then a fast food worker at Dairy Queen for two days.  No offense to the DQ company, I do love your food, but cut out for work there I am not, so I became the assistant manager at a grocery store for five years, and now an AR Specialist at a college bookstore.

Looking back now, I’ve had a diverse employment.  Each job has taught me something, either positive or negative, and it’s all been valuable.  Especially, if not totally, in the area of the daily grind.  Day in, day out, getting up when I don’t feel like it, solving issues only to confront different but same ones the next day.  Overworked, under appreciated, exhausted, exhausted, exhausted,

But I need the money.  I need to eat, to pay rent, and save.

And I want to support myself by writing.

So how do you stay positive and hopeful as you work towards the dream job of becoming self sufficient through your writing?

1. Focus on your goal.

Before I left the grocery store job, I bought a roll of butcher paper from my then boss.  I use it for story mapping as I can tack it to the wall and draw/write on it when I want a constant visual.  I reserve one piece next to my bed, where I scrawl inspirational notes and quotes to myself that I read every day.  Then I tell myself, “You are going to publish your stories.”  It keeps me focused, and reminds me that I am working towards something better.

2.  Decide you want the dream more than you want comfort now.

Movie tickets.  New tech gadgets.  Music albums.  Books.  Eating out.  These are all things you can cut back on in order to start saving to launch your dream.  Tom Ewer has a wonderful website dedicated to helping people figure out how to leave their day jobs behind and create an income from their literary ambitions.  His How To Get Closer To Leaving Work Behind Today article showcases a lot of good advice on how to cut back on non-essential purchases so you can save more.  The crux of it is to decide you want the dream more than your short term or immediate distractions and luxuries.

3.  Make time for your dream.

Write before you go to work, during commute (unless you drive), on breaks, during lunch, after work, on weekends.  Any moment you can carve out, use it.  There are a million excuses not to do something.  None of those excuses will bring your dream closer.  If you want this, you’re going to have to take it.  You’re going to have to sacrifice for it, whether it be an extra hour of sleep, TV time, whatever.  Dreams are never real until you make them so.

4.  Picture yourself as successful.

You will fall and fail, that is part of life.  But you know that whole law of attraction thing people have been talking about?  It really does work.  Picture yourself as however you deem to have ‘made it’.  Me, I picture myself dressed in an AC/DC shirt, jeans, and chucks at a writing convention signing books, meeting fans and other authors, and holding a physical copy of a book I’ve put sweat, blood, tears, and effort in my hands.  I picture myself writing the next book on planes, trains, on the sides of roads, in bright lit cafes and dingy diners.  I picture myself working, just as hard as ever, but I’m smiling.

5.  Keep your chin up, buttercup.

Slogging day in and day out through the same shit is hard and discouraging, especially if you can’t yet see how much progress you are making towards what you want.  Don’t put yourself down for believing in it, even if everyone else does.  Love yourself, love your dream, even when it hurts, even when you’re tired.  You’ll get there.

Get Drunk Or Set Something On Fire

A couple of nights ago I had a weird dream.  My brother and I were on the run from every 3 letter agency in the country for a crime I still do not remember the details of (we ordered pizza, they traced a credit card, we became civilian Jason Bournes.  I know, you’re jealous of my imagination right now, it’s perfectly normal).  They chased us into a canyon where we proceeded to hide, only to be surrounded and arrested (okay, we were unsuccessful Jason Bournes, shut up).

After being arrested, they separated my brother and I, taking us to different crime scenes at opposite ends of the canyon.  I found I had a wallet on me the agents did not remove.  Inside, there was a big wad of cash and a small bottle of vodka.

Okay, so at this point I still wonder myself why we ordered pizza with a traceable card when I was packing at least a couple hundred grand in cash, but this is a dream and sometimes the logic is not usual logic.

Anyway, I held the two items in my hands and I thought to myself, I can either get drunk or set something on fire.

BZZZZZZT.  Then the alarm went off.

After I fully woke up I started thinking about this dream.  Dreams are our mind’s way of working through issues we face while awake, and this one had a pretty good message for me.

Get drunk or set something on fire.

Stop looking at me that way, I’m 89% sure that is an entirely metaphorical suggestion.

So, other than the 11% literal suggestion, what does get drunk or set something on fire actually mean?  For me, I’m pretty sure this is my subconscious’s way of telling me to make a choice.  I have a lot of choices I need to make in my life, although that’s not exactly news.  We all do, every day, big and little choices.

In writing, this is telling me to make a choice: be passive, or take a chance.

First choice: Getting Drunk.

In the dream, I could have downed the vodka and gotten drunk.  It would have been an understandable choice.  We were caught, arrested, separated, and surrounded by hoards of people in flak jackets with bold three-letter anagrams plastered across their bodies.  If ever there was a hopeless situation that demanded a drunken binge, it would have been that one.

The other choice: Setting Something On Fire.

I had a wad of cash (tinder).  I had vodka (good as gasoline).  I was in a desert canyon, a terrain I know intimately and that burns given the tiniest spark.  All I needed was that spark, and I could orchestrate a spectacular distraction that could get me and my brother out of there, or kill us all.  And it would destroy the money that (I assume) I had acquired to make our lives easier.

The dream gave me a real classic rock and a hard place decision, just like what I’m facing in real life with day job and writing issues, only with less criminal charges and national intrigue.  This is me telling myself, okay Shi, you can jump one of two ways.  Be passive, or be active.

Golly, this is starting to sound familiar to the writer in me.

The rules in writing don’t stop at the page.  Just as your character needs to make active decisions in the narrative to move the story forward, the writer needs to make active decisions in their own life, whether to move their writing, or other aspects of their life, forward.

I am standing at that crossroads right now, looking at two different paths.  I am, by nature, a lurker on the internet.  This blog has been hard to keep up with, because I prefer to write in solitude and observe, rather than put myself under a spotlight.  But under a spotlight is where I need to be if I want to find any success with my writing dreams, the first of which I am working to accomplish with getting some short stories onto Kindle.  I won’t get anywhere unless I start setting shit on fire.

Metaphorically.

I am still full of doubts.  Making a decision is hard, committing to it even harder, and seeing it through, without the benefit of knowing the ending, is hardest of all.  I don’t know if all the years I’ve spent jotting down the stories in my head have prepared me enough to make my words public.  I don’t know if my words will sell, if I will ever make a good income from them.  I don’t know.

But I’m deciding to find out.

Looks like I’ll be setting some fires, so I hope you’ll watch for smoke on the horizon.

MSH - Shed light....

 

Photo by f1uffster

Writer Problems, Project Management, Cake, and Strippers

So I was supposed to post this on Sunday but I kind of forgot.  In my defense I was working on writing stuff.  I’m nearing at the 40% completion line on revision for my Undertaker book, so *dances*.   That percentage will probably jump up this week seeing as it’s slow at work and my boss is at another store.  With nothing else to fill the hours once the customers are checked out and the other tasks are done, I can break out my laptop and work on my stuff, which is awesome.

I’ve also been trying to consolidate my writing projects and blogging into some kind of schedule so I can create a better timetable to finish things, but that is still a work in progress.  I work full time but the job is pretty flexible during this time of the year, so I can usually work a bit from there and then have Saturday and Sunday off.  I’m just having trouble putting everything else besides Undertaker into some kind of an order, and then turning my attention to the blog and website plans.

Got any tips or advice for me?  Please leave it in the comments and I will buy you the biggest cake and stuff it full of strippers and rainbows for you.

Okay, well, I won’t get you a cake like that.  I’m poor as hell. If I had the money for strippers and gigantic pastries I’d be having cake for breakfast and live Magic Mike performances in my living room.  So hows about my virtual undying love and adoration?  I can do that in SPADES.

Also, here’s a rainbow:

Rainbow, you are drunk.  Go home.
Rainbow, you are drunk. Go home.

Okay, so now that that’s outta the way, here I present to you a short list of Writer Problems.  It is by no means complete, so also feel free to add your own problems, pet peeves, and observations below.

 

Writer’s Problems, A List

  • Sexting is a turnoff unless grammatically correct.
  • That one character that appears halfway through the book and renders three others useless.
  • Tumbr.  Facebook.  <insert your social media procrastination hub of choice>
  • Netflix.
  • Fandom.
  • The sensation of slowly sinking into a vat of putrid ickyness as you realize you’ve written yourself into a soul sucking, booby trapped corner that not even Vikings wielding chainsaws and riding on unicorns can fix.
  • Microsoft Word.  (Scrivener all the way, baby!)
  • Misplacing the Special Pen.  No matter that you have an entire collection, that one was SPECIAL.  And wrote UNIQUELY.
  • Interruption during a brainstorm:

“Miss, can you help me-“

“Oh my God, can you not see I’m busy figuring out how to smuggle psychic teenagers into Canada?”

“…”  *slowly backs away*

  • Family gatherings.  <insert your horror story here>
  • When someone is sitting in your designated spot at the coffee shop and all that’s left are the less than awesome spaces.
  • “Ur”  Bitch, unless you’re talking about the ancient city, that’s spelled Y-O-U-R.
  • Wikipedia is the black hole of the internet, because “just a little research” turns into nine hours later and a complete understanding of the Hun Empire, the history of bagels, and the evolution of Polka.
  • There is no way to search for an answer to some particular questions without seeing a lot of photos of things I don’t want to see.
  • Killing your favorite character.
  • By contrast, killing too many of your favorite characters and liking it.  (I’m looking at you Mr. Martin, AKA Evil Santa)
  • Editing.
  • Revision.
  • Shared computers.  Not just because your time is limited, but because there will be awkward questions if you don’t clear your search history.
  • No, I’m not pregnant.  I have characters to name.
  • No, I’m not planning a murder.
  • But if you try to read over my shoulder again I will be.
  • No, I’m not a terrorist.  This really is just for writing.
  • Life outside the story, which is not what most people term ‘real life’.  Fuck you, ‘real life’ happens inside my head all the time.  Just because you aren’t powerful enough to become the god of an internal multi-verse doesn’t mean I have to give up my throne or laptop.

 

Cheers!