Deadlines and Everything In-Between

Ten days and counting. Ten days to submit my manuscript to my editor to keep on track with my goals. To self-publish my first book. I’ve said it out loud and now it is happening. Yet, here I am now working on my manuscript, while I’m typing this blog I’m also in-between making breakfast cookies for the week. I did work on my manuscript for most of the day but I took a break later in the afternoon and I thought I would get back to it sometime tonight, but my mind is not on the work at the moment. There are times where I could blink my eyes or twinkle my nose and the vision I have for my book is complete. Then I remember I’m not in TV land and Samantha Stephens is not here to work her magic. Darn!

I’m still with creativity. I’m reading Jacqui Nelson’s latest book, The Calling Birds, a historical romance filled love, promise, laughter and great advise by Grandpa Gus. Here is a little taste of Birdie and Jack’s world:

Many years have passed since Bernadette Bellamy fled the Cariboo Gold Rush and her reputation as the sister of a French-Canadian gang of thieves. Armed with only an honest talent for sewing and a willingness to lead a solitary life on the run, she stays one step ahead of everyone seeking her brothers’ last—and now lost—heist. Until a craving to settle down makes her reinvent herself as Birdie Bell, a dress shop owner. The arrival of an old foe combined with her desire to hold onto her treasure trove of fabrics has Birdie joining a wagonload of brides bound for a remote town.

After losing his leg and his wife, Jack Peregrine buries his pain under a mountain-high pile of work. He only agrees to sign up for a mail-order bride to save the town of Noelle, keep his freighting business, and care for his absentminded grandfather. But Jack’s request for a sturdy bride who won’t crumble under his burdens brings him a woman as tiny as she is troubled. Can two mismatched people band together to become the perfect match?

One of my favorite lines that captured me from the start:

Lives had ended. Memories had faded.

My curiosity was tickled and I have laughed out loud and turn the pages eagerly to find out what happens to Jack and Birdie. I hope you to do too, see more about the Calling Birds here.

The creative life is not always about sitting down to write. The creative life is engaging with creativity, with other writers and reading as much as you can. The more you read the more you dive deeper into your own craft. When you spend time with other creative minds and writers, the ideas flow and stories are written. How I love the creative process.

Now, back to the page. I have 2500 words to cut from my manuscript and at the moment my virtual red pen seems to be drying up. Any advice on how to slash some words from your manuscript?

Until next time, keep on typing. . .

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Decisions Are Not Up for Negotiation

Since my little run-in with the car and my dreams calling out to me to Wake Up! I have been feeling a shift. A shift of emotions, thoughts, decisions. I am a spiritual being and I have felt shifts like these before. Sometimes they are quick and painless, and sometimes they seem longer than need to be and the life lesson is in my face day after day until I throw up my hands and say ‘okay universe you take over!’

Decisions are not up for negotiation. ~ Jen Sincero

When I made the decision to look for an editor to work on my memoir that was the gateway to my true self and the universe to work together to get this decision enroute. There is no stopping this thought, this one thing that I’ve wanted to do since I can remember. In the past I was stuck. What stopped me? I could write a hundred things and events in my life, but I won’t go there because that was then and this is now.

The old you, the one who has not yet decided to kick-ass, is in the past. Stay present and do not, even for a second, look backward or entertain any ideas of straying from your decisions. Think of the new you. ~ Jenn Sincero

I emailed a woman who put me in touch with two editors. One got back to me right away and is eager to work with me. (Thank you) The second editor got back to me weeks later, we emailed back and forth as I wanted to see what she had to say and the second editor was the one who triggered that fear in me that I wanted to walk away from writing altogether. I haven’t heard back from this editor on their thoughts of my sample chapters and that’s okay because the editor that I’m going to be working with is the one who was chosen for me by serendipitous events and my gut says this is a good partnership. My editor and I have set a deadline to send her my updated manuscript and that’s that. I am not backing down, there will be no creative U-Turns, the ego can take a seat in the corner for a very long time. The new me, the true self is standing up tall and moving forward!

Now back to the manuscript, I have 16 days until the deadline.

Until next time, keep on typing….

A Wake Up Call

If I could write like the wind I would be writing all night! A version of a woman I use to know calls out to a version of me in a lucid dream.

Bam! My eyes are wide open. It’s 2:30 am and I’m ready to jump out of the bed and get to the page. I don’t get out of bed, however, I do lay under the warm duvet and listen to my husband breath as the words from dream whirl around my mind.

If I could write like the wind I would be writing all night!

This is my true self-reaching out for me in my dreams. I know this to be true – my true-self has had enough of me “thinking” and “doing” things that are not needed. I even had a little run-in with my car the same night as this dream.

I was driving home from work and I took a different route home than I normally do. As I drove and got farther away from my normal route I felt off like something was poking at me, like a little nudge, the gut was telling me something and I kept on driving. I came to a street where I did not see a single car and I thought I was in luck as this was a busy street. I proceeded to cross the street and as I come to the end of the road I turn my head to the right and in slow motion I see the other car drive towards me. Like in the movie “Jaws” when the shark is in slow motion coming out of the water trying to get onto the boat. I don’t slam on the breaks, I am somehow slowly gliding as I watch the other car slowly move into my car. My first egotistical thought was ‘damn it, I just had the car fixed and new breaks last week! What the hell!’  I took a deep breath, got out of the car and the guy driving the other car was as shocked as I was.

We check the cars and his rental car seemed to have more scuffs than expected and there is one scratch on my car (until I get home and see the passenger sides wheel is scuffed up and that’s where the red paint from the other car showed up – wait I think I’m having deva-ja-view as I write this, was all this preventable?) In the end, the other driver was really nice, we knew mutual people in the city and we left the scene knowing the insurance company would have to handle the other details. I am so grateful for no one being hurt. This is all that really matters.

As I drove home I have to admit I was a bit in shock. I wasn’t sure if I was on autopilot trying to get home to steady ground. But to have this statement about writing that very same night really has sparked something within, possibly shaken me to the core, okay it has and that’s the truth. I’m uneasy with my messy and lackadaisical ways in the past few weeks. I’m not impressed with myself or is my true self, the artist within, she’s not so happy at the moment and this was her way of grabbing a hold and shaking me calling out,

WAKE UP!

Do I hear her?

YES.

I am awake. I am a alive. I am grateful.

Until next time, keep on typing….

Giving my Bad Habits the Heave-Ho!

It is Sunday mid-morning and I am tired. We hosted a dinner party last night and today I feel drained. I should be honest, it wasn’t a big dinner party where we dressed up and had a four-course dinner. It was our monthly get together with good friends and we have been making dishes from the Thug Kitchen cookbook. If you haven’t heard of this cookbook, I highly recommend you do. It’s a great read and the food is so freakin’ delicious! (I could use the f-bomb here but I don’t want to offend anyone and I’m trying not to swear as much as I use to. I’m a Navy Brat, no explanation needed…) I love spending time with our friends and our dinner get-togethers fill me with joy. Sometimes I am aware that I need to be writing and last night was one of those times.

My tiredness doesn’t solely come from the dinner night, there is a combination of a long week at the hotel life and from not writing as much as I planned to. I’m behind on my Nanowrimo project. I let the ego sneak in and convince me that sitting on the sofa after dinner was a better plan than sitting in my writing room doing what I love. How does this happen after all that I know about the ego and old behaviors that suck the life out of me?  I mean I’m sitting in my writing right now and it’s lovely. I mean that. I have a great view of trees and squirrels playing on the branches and from time to time the family of deer saunter by for their afternoon snack. Really why wouldn’t I want to be here? It’s like there is a vortex once I leave my writing room and another time and place takes over. Oh yeah, the ego. So here I am again with the same questions and frustrations of the old behavior that also wants to write but is better at procrastination and I am very aware of this.

I pick up my copy of ‘You are a Badass’ by Jen Sincero to give myself a kick in the ass.

Give Your Bad Habits The Heave-Ho: Successful people have good habits; unsuccessful people have losery habits. Because our habits are all the things that we do automatically, without thinking, they help to define who we are.

Yup, I totally agree. I can see that I’m on autopilot from time to time and the only way I shake out of this fuzzy haze is by writing. Once I get here on the page I am taken to another world, the world that I want to be in. The new habit that I am going to fall into is to get myself in my writing room as soon as I get home from work and write for at least 10 to 20 minutes, it’s better than the alternative. Not writing and staring at the flickering screen of Netflix or scrolling through Instagram to see how many likes I have on the latest picture I’m trying to capture people with. No wonder I’m tired, it can be exhausting trying to keep with the thing we ‘think’ we have to be doing when really we need, I need to be following through with what my heart sings for. Being right here on the page.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

NaNoWriMo is in Full Swing!

It’s November which means it’s NaNoWriMo, a month-long writing contest/challenge where you attempt to write a novel by November 30. The goal is to write 50,000 words or more if you’re up to the challenge.

I am taking the month of November to work with the guidelines to commit myself to work on a work in progress. This means I’m a NaNoWriMo rebel. (Insert shocking emoji here) I’ve already written 38,000 words on this project in the past and will continue with the word count as the story unfolds. This may mean I might not be writing many blogs during November. Writing blogs is part of my writing routine but like anything, sometimes you need to switch things up to see a new perspective and I’m feeling like I need to kick myself in the butt to write more.

If you don’t hear from me for a while, not to worry, I am in my writing room, or cafe or dining room table or the library feverishly working on my latest project.

Sometimes you need to shut the door, sit down and put the words on the page.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .

Writing will Change You

Yes, when you get down to the True self and speak from that, there is always a metamorphosis in your writing, a transfiguration. ~ Brenda Ueland

I have read Brenda’s, If You Want to Write, a book about, art, independence, and spirit many times now, but on Friday morning I reached for the book and opened to the page with this wonderful reminder. I took this book with me on our Seaside, Oregon adventure but I didn’t have a chance to get to it due to the days filled with ocean adventures and family interactions. But something was calling me to reconnect with the book and here it is a very simple but powerful message.

While I was on vacation a few things occurred that made me very aware of a shift transpiring within me. I won’t get into the details but I will tell you that I have been sharing with the universe that I am open to my creative possibilities. Any time you put a thought out into the universe be ready to receive. I am not sure I am ready but I have to be, it’s happening and I can not stop it, I have seen my true self on many occasions over the years and I cannot ignore her. She is not letting the old-self shadow her any longer.

I had a cold during our vacation and I graciously passed it along to my in-laws. The coughing wars were enough to drive one to the edge and I was pushed to the edge of my old behavior self. The one who judges and gets upset over any little thing. Split milk? Watch out my old-self will scold the milk up and down until the old-self feels like it has won some kind of self-made battle. I am very grateful to be aware of these ego related thoughts but it can be scary to see that side of me show up when I’m not paying attention.

Back to the coughing fits between family. It was mid-morning and it was raining sideways, the ocean was spewing waves rapidly, no one was going out anywhere. I took this opportunity to do some writing. But something came out of me that I wasn’t really prepared for.

Do you want this more than me? Was what a new character whispered in my ear. I shivered as I wrote these words. What does it really mean? Do you want this more than me? I know it’s my true-self telling me that I know what I want and I want it more than the old-self, the old behaviors, the bad habits that have lingered for far too long. I want to be creating and sharing more than I want to be sitting on the sofa night after night zoning out on some HGTV show that I know is not helping me to move forward with my own creativity. I crave my creative life so desperately I want to kill off the ego so that I am able to step up and rise to the occasion I know I so desperately want to be doing. Does this make sense? Does anyone else feel this way? All I know is that this how I am feeling and there is something stirring around within me ready to be released.

I’m ready.

Now, get to the page and get to work!

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .