Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Gratitude

It hit me like a brick yesterday when I learned Anne MacCafferey has passed. Admittedly, I haven't read much of her work, but what I did I loved. She created an entire world and culture within it that spurred my love of dragons. In High School, I wrote my own world with dragons that was strongly based on her Pern, but not written half as well.

Just a day away from Thanksgiving, her passing helps to reinforce the idea of giving thanks and feeling gratitude for what we have. These last couple years have been amazing for me. I've known my husband for 10 years, but separated by an ocean we didn't actually get together until about 3 years ago, finally getting married a year later just after our first son was born. We worked for another 10 months on his immigration paperwork while he continued living in London, his only time spent with our son restricted to 3 short visits and video chats.

Since then, we've bought our first house together and have started improvements. He was able to get his dream job working for a company he'd thought was years out of reach. I have started actively working toward getting published with a non-conventional publisher who is willing to put the time and energy into helping me improve and polish my novel writing skills.

We have been so lucky and so blessed, yet we fall into the trap of focusing on the next step, the next project, forgetting what we have just accomplished. That is what is lovely about this holiday, set perfectly at the beginning of a beautiful winter holiday season. It is my husband's favorite American holiday where people come together to enjoy food and (hopefully) each other's company.

Last year we had 18 people at Thanksgiving. My husband is Danish and we were lucky enough to have 8 of his family members with us. Last year was about giving our foreign guests a taste of a real, traditional Thanksgiving which equaled more food than we knew what to do with. This year, we'll be down to 8 people. Where it won't necessarily be as festive, it should hopefully be more intimate, allowing us to enjoy those who were able to make it over a smaller menu and a football game including our state team, the Detroit Lions.

I am incredibly grateful for my husband, my boys (our bun is a boy, too), and our lives. Though we do plan on this place and this time being transitory, there is no reason not to enjoy all of our many successes.

This year I hope everyone is able to remember their successes and appreciate all their opportunities. Enjoy your families and friends, including the quirks we may not always welcome, but which makes everyone different and special. No matter what your plans are, I hope they are enjoyable.

Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm struggling a bit here with what to write. Every time I start something, I think - No! That should go on 42wd's blog.

So what do I write where? I need to sit down and hack out a grid, or something. I need time to sit down and hack out a grid. ;)

I wasn't given any specific guidelines by 42wd, or even a specific day, though that may change as the company grows. The understanding is I would write about my growth and development as a writer with them.

Okay. So what about here?

I'm at about as much as a loss as I am with the idea that I am going to rewrite my current WIP to fit a different model of thought. I suppose, being as unprepared as I was, it isn't a surprise I'm floundering. Figuring out what I want to do with each is just another challenge on top of all the other's I've collected lately.

Organization. That's what I need. I love being organized and I'm definitely feeling a lack of it at the moment. Easily fixed. Ideally, anyway.

One thing at a time, though. I think I've decided to start with the kids I watch and their scheduling. It may be the toughest of all the challenges since I'm relying on someone else to stick to it as well (the kids' parent). That being said, I can't rely on that one to work out before going after the others.

This weekend may be a good time. It may be the worst time. With so much going on during the week, weekends usually get packed to the brim between my husband and myself. We need to work on that, too.

Organization. I'll do it. In fact, I can't wait. I will have, to, though. Dinner with the family tonight, as it turns out. Then X Factor again. I mean, we have to have our priorities, right

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Check out 42wd's blog here. You can circle them on Google+ here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

42wd Publishing

I've started working with 42wd Publishing!!! Getting a published work out there is still going to take a while, but that's the great part about 42wd. They're willing to work with me until it's ready.

Here's a link to my first post with them. Please follow me and the other authors as we go through our experiences, each from a different jumping off point.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stealing Time

I'm revising today. In fact, I have been for the last few days. Yay! I'm not really sure how or why, but the kids are actually letting me do it during the day today, too (my 2-year-old and my sister's three, 3-9). The movie might be helping (don't judge, they're only allowed one per day).

I hate editing, but I don't mind revising, or rewriting, you might call it. It's basically saying the same thing, just better, and I love better. I may have even found myself an online writing/editing buddy thanks to Azure Boone's blog to help me as I go, because you never just do this stuff once. (Browse / sign up here if you're interested in getting your own buddy.)

This past week and a half I've been devouring helpful writer blogs like they're my left-over Halloween candy. I learned some new things, was reminded of others, but it basically got the bug back in me so that I'm willing to steal time to work rather than just taking whatever straggling minutes I can string together at the end of the day. Then I need to get myself an editing software to point out all the parts I hate to fix so I can use that cheat-sheet instead of wading through it on my own.

All this work is on my WIP, the one that is with the publisher at this moment, with whom I have a meeting soon. *gasp* It will be fine. I'll be told I need to do a lot of work, I think, but it will be fine. It will be great because I've already started (restarted?) that work.

Ah, what work ethic I've fallen back into. I love it. It's a shame life always makes you make that lemonade.

Other than the kids needing my - er, constant - supervision, Thursday nights are the nights my family and my sister's family gather at my Mom's house for dinner. It's lovely. The kids get excited about it every week. I don't have to cook! But I want to write, dang it. Apparently taking the Chromebook to dinner is frowned upon.

All will work out, though, I'm absolutely certain of it. There's more time to steal after dinner (maybe - X Factor is on), then tomorrow. Every moment I can get means I'm closer, so every stolen moment is worth it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Changing Fast - And For The Better

A few weeks ago all I did was watch my sister's 3 kids, raise my first (growing my second), take care of 9 puppies along with my 3 dogs and think 'wouldn't it be nice to be published one day?'

What a difference a few weeks make! Part of me actually thinks entirely differently than I had before, and I'm putting myself on a track to keep up that change.

First, I started up on Google+. After weeks of having it, I finally figured out how to find people to add. About the same time, everyone started sharing their own circles. I was able to 'collect' a lot of writers from all different points in the process, giving me insight I missed, or was wishing I had.

Second, I started this blog. The actual blogging is fun, but not really what's helped move me along. Instead, through all those people I added through G+, I found blogs to follow. They were filled with all the information I'd been searching for and hadn't been able to find. Now, some of you might say I could have just searched for it, but search engines and I do not get along. Ask my husband. We can both use Google search, type in the same words, and he gets relevant links while I get crap. Unfair in my view, but hey - when I need something searched for, I have a solid reason to delegate.

With all my new social networking skills and blog following, I now have a ton of information to sift through - a lot of it worth reading thoroughly. I have ordered a few books and will probably be ordering a bunch more as I come across more suggestions. I used to be overwhelmed by all the choices and not knowing which would be worth investing in. A few weeks ago, I was at a frustrating loss as to how to take the next step and now I'm practically flying.

Before, I think a part of me was okay with being stagnant with my lack of a career in writing. With all these new options presented to me, I'm feeling like I can make those next steps I need to take because I can see them. Not only can I see them, but there are now people in my life willing to help me along with a book suggestion or a web link, something I was seriously lacking. I'm reading blogs and posts from other authors telling me to stop making excuses and get back to not only writing, but to improving it.

Here I am, finally, ready to do just that. My tool box is growing, my confidence is returning and I'm starting to feel like I did at 16 when I first started thinking I was good enough to be published. It's a feeling I thought was regulated to teenage hormones and a naive view of the world. I'm glad I was wrong.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo - Not This Year, Unfortunately.

I may have completely forgot I have a blog. I didn't really get online all weekend, actually, and in the process forgot all the things I keep up with on a usual day. Well, luckily someone posted a comment and jarred me back to reality, so here I am. :)

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo. I just found out about it three weeks or so ago when I saw people starting to talk about it through Google+ posts. I became curious since it was obviously about writing but didn't actually look into it until the beginning of last week.

Ooh, did I want to do it. 50,000 words in one month is just my sort of challenge. I once challenged myself in high school to take my Spring Break to write a whole mini-novel. I don't remember how many words it ended up being. Back then, it wasn't about the words, it was about the story, which was not such a bad thing, come to think about it. Anyway, I did it. My mom thought I was crazy, that I should be out doing things rather than spending all my time on the computer. It was something I wanted to do and I did it.

Unfortunately, that will not be the case this time around. I debated all week about participating, but I kept coming back to the same reasons not to. First, I'm about knee deep into another story right now, the second book to one I had finished early in the year and spent most the summer editing and revising. Also, I'm about half-way through my second pregnancy and this one is kicking me all over the place. I'm either not feeling well, or I'm super exhausted. As much as I would love to say I could work around it, I'm not thinking I could with all my other responsibilities.

I am, however, set to participate in NaNoWriMo next year. In fact, I'm probably going to wrestle my husband into doing it with me. He's been talking about writing a humorous book for dad's ever since I was pregnant with our first son. NaNoWriMo may be just what he needs to kick start the process, even if that's not what he ends up working on.

This year I get to observe, mostly through Google+, as people post their daily progress, or lack thereof. Having just discovered the event, I suppose it's for the best. As much as I love challenges, I like to be fully prepared for them. This year, the time just wasn't there for me, but next year I'll know to make time work for me.