Wahoo! I’m Finally Getting Some Progress Made!

I’ve been working on several alternatives to my first book, The Lost Part of Me. I don’t plan to scrap it, but I did want to delay it for a while, as the structure was more complicated than I was ready to handle.

Things I did, instead:

  • Continued with blogging, both at Right As Usual and Bastion of Liberty.
  • Wrote a couple of short stories, and published them.
  • Worked out the plot of a less complex story, and will start writing early next week. This is both shorter than TLPOM, and a more straightforward framework.
  • Am – in my spare time – working out the plot of a sci-fi novel. I started it, then realized that I needed to plan it out more thoroughly. I’ll get it re-booted after I finish this next book.
  • Worked on home, organizing, financial untangling, and getting my physical condition upgraded.
  • Spent time with family.

I went back to something I’ve been toying with for some time – graphic updates. I put part of the first one in the slider pictures, and will add as I complete more.

Here is the link to the first one – I plan to update once a week.

Categories: Business, Just Life, Writing

Running on Empty

Cedar Sanderson writes about this phenomenon on her blog. She finds that she is low-energy in many aspects of her life.

That’s truly where I am at. Periodically, I find the resources to make a blitz – writing/updating my blogs, working on a short story, blocking out/outlining my next book, making a mad dash through my house and clearing up the worst of the mess.

SOME of that is physical. My recent ankle injury had made it difficult to move around, or even sit comfortably for an extended time.

Some of that is related to the difficulty I am experiencing with the book revisions. I’ve just about gotten to the point where I am planning to take a hiatus; to put this book aside until I’ve written a few other books – shorter, less complex, and easier to complete. Then, once I have more experience with the process, returning to complete the revisions.

Some of this is my response to change:

  • Going back to teaching, in the form of substitute assignments. I really DON’T like those, as I have to adapt to different places, different faces, different starting times.
  • I’ve had to make changes in response to my ankle injury. I really shouldn’t be putting weight on the leg, but have been. Which leads to my having only the mad desire to put the leg UP at the end of the day.
  • Some of my plans are tentative, as they depend on other people. Those people have been slow making decisions for the future. Until they do, I’m not able to firm up my plans.

I prefer to plan ahead, and be in control. Unfortunately, that just isn’t possible right now.

What I’ve Been Doing

I’ve been distracted for the last several months – traveling – and, now, fairly regular work as a substitute teacher. It’s a good school system, well run, and the work is not too tedious.

In some ways, it’s better than what I’d been doing. With the need to organize my day more stringently, I find that I am accomplishing more than usual. So, for now, I’ll be doing this. Right now, I’m working 3-5 times a week. Next fall, I’d like that reduced toaround 2-3 days a week.

My only loss is time with my garden. I’m way behind on planting, weeding, and maintaining.

My first short story is on Kindle Select – if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free, until June 20. It’s priced at $0.99 otherwise.

After June 20, I’m taking it off KU. I’ll have it available at Smashwords and Amazon.

Here’s the link.

I’m currently working on another short, one that was suggested by Ace of Spades. It’s a modern update of The Lottery. I’m hoping to be putting that up on Smashwords and Amazon by the end of the month, if not sooner.

Haven’t Checked for a Few Weeks

Until I looked here today, I hadn’t realized that I’d not updated on my writing for some time – more than a month!

I’ve been busy:

  • No flu, but nasty respiratory infections – both myself, and my husband. We’re better now, but still not up to full recovery.
  • House! I’ve been working on organization, clearing out old paperwork, and preparing for taxes. I’m really looking forward to next year – we may even try the short form.
  • Writing. I’m still not finished with the edits – I’ve frankly neglected them for many weeks. However, I did start a short story (never wrote one before), and I’m about 2/3 finished. When I’m done, I’ll put it up as a freebie on Amazon, and set the download link here.

That’s really it. No major catastrophes, no really GOOD excuse for not being busier. Just home stuff and laziness.

Categories: Uncategorized

The End of the First 6 Months of Retirement

It’s been interesting. Lots of little accomplishments (my house has reached a level of clean/organized that it hasn’t been in ages), interesting experiences – the Eclipse (it was amazing!!!!!), getting to know my grandson, learning to handle unstructured time, and slogging away on the first book.

That last has been the most challenging. Not the writing – that’s relatively easy.

No, the problem is that I have discovered that I contain massive amounts of insecurities. I doubt that I can write anything worth reading, I worry that I will be a failure at something I deeply and earnestly want to do, and that I will not be able to find an audience that wants to read what I write.

In short, the possibility of being judged, and found wanting, is paralyzing my progress.


Categories: Uncategorized

Not Working Right Now, But Reading

I’ve been curiously unable to get down to the revisions (fear? doubt? laziness?), so I’ve been catching up on other things – home organization, fitness, cooking, reading.

That last thing, reading, has led me to some interesting authors, including:

  • Kat Howard – here is a link to some of her short stories – quite engrossing.
  • Kristine Kathryn Rausch – she blogs at Kriswrites, and has put together a Holiday-Themed Bundle (bundles are an opportunity to get LOTS of reading for a small price – a very good deal). BTW, don’t stop with her fiction (good as it is). She also writes with a cold and clear eye about the business of writing.
  • Michael Connelly – on both audio and book (Kindle) format – I’ve been catching up with some of the backlist, and it’s been great!
Categories: Uncategorized

What a GREAT Day!

I got right to work today on my writing. When I had finished my day’s quota (self-imposed), I was delighted to see that I had reached a percent completed of 21% for Alien8, and 10% for Retiring Without Falling Apart.

I’ve set up a Google Sheet to track my work. It’s simple, just 4 columns:

Date          Words that Day       Total                Percent Complete

I’m big on tracking progress. I think it’s hard to keep focused on big projects (which a book is, generally), unless you can see how your efforts are paying off. It’s the same with weight loss – those who don’t keep track get discouraged. So, along with the numbers being updated, I also added a pie chart, which is a nice visual image of where I am in the process.

So, I have good reasons to be proud of myself. In addition, I got up early and:

  • Made my bed
  • Got dressed – NOT in sloppy clothes
  • Ate nutritiously
  • Paid some bills
  • Organized paperwork
  • Wrote

I’m feeling just GREAT!

Categories: My Books, Writing

Post-Thanksgiving Reflections

Well, we’ll be dining on leftover turkey tonight. We didn’t take any cranberry sauce or stuffing, so – I’ll be making the stovetop versions of both this afternoon.

I got very little done over the holidays. I was visiting my daughter in Chicago, then on to Cleveland, then, a long drive home to SC. It makes me tired just thinking of it.

My eldest child was in a community theatre production of Godspell – the video is here – she’s the petite one in pink.

It was great to be in my own bed this weekend. Not to mention that my eye problem completely cleared up. (Due to cats and dogs in Chicago and Cleveland, I was stuffy and with red, itchy eyes. It made reading and writing just about impossible).

Picture is from the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America.

A few breeds have the reputation of being non-allergic, but – after last week’s experience, I’m not hopeful.

I’m working on clearing out the clutter, unpacking, and getting the house in order today. I’m going to get to the gym this afternoon, followed by intense cooking, and a relaxing evening.

Writing will NOT be on the schedule today. I’m hoping to get back into my regular routine by Tuesday or Wednesday, at the latest.

How was your holiday?

Categories: Just Life

Whoops! Missed a Week

Man, has this been an exciting month!

Novel Progress

30% Complete
15,105 of 50,000 words

I visited Cleveland, to babysit my newest grandson. What a treat! He’s 19 months, fully mobile, and loaded with energy. I took to napping every day, and still he wore me out.

I headed back home just a few days after National Novel Writing Month started, and had very little time to write on the road, so – I’ve had to spend most of the last week catching up. I’m just a few thousand words down today, and have plenty of time to work, so I’m feeling confident that I’ll be on track to finish on time by early next week.

The novel is going well. I’m having no trouble writing or plotting, just some serious lack of time. When I decided to retire, I thought I’d have more time to write.

Nope. Turns out that retirement gets a lot of tasks dumped on your shoulders. It also means that, with spending more time in the house, you get sucked into organizing and cleaning. Well, the house really did need it, but it cuts into my writing.

Categories: Uncategorized

Getting Ready for the NaNoWriMo Sprint

Less that a week to go till the start of NaNoWriMo2017. I’m spending about half my writing time getting the first fourth of the book planned out. I may have to do the rest next week.
I want to have the broad outlines of the new book in place, so I can know the ending point I want to aim for. Yes, I am basically a Planner – at least, I prefer to know the general direction of large projects, and draw up benchmarks for my work, so I can finish at the time and place I want to be.
Here is the working cover for the new book – I’m thinking about using my initials – LS – and turning that into a name for my sci-fi books. Not to hide as a man, but to differentiate between my mystery/suspense books and the sci-fi ones. If I end up writing in another genre, I may do the same for it.
Categories: My Books, NaNoWriMo, Writing