IWSG: Choices, Choices

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It’s the first Wednesday, and that means it’s time to post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I know I’ve definitely neglected my blog when the last post I see is also Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a month ago. This group is a great place to share encouragement, tips, and yes insecurities related to being a writer. Lately, I’ve noticed that most of the posts seem to concentrate more on the first two things.

This month, the IWSG question for the month has to do with our 5-year-plan. Where do we see ourselves in 5 years and what do we plan to do in order to make that dream a reality, what concrete steps?

Wow, what a bracing question, right? I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and to be honest like many I’ve dreamed about seeing my name on a newstand preferably with the words New York Times Bestselling Author in tiny print above it. I’d still like to see that one day, and I’d also like to win the lottery and meet Stephen King and J.K. face to face.

To be honest, though, in 5 years I’d really just like to see myself making a decent living, having fun, growing in the craft. To that end, I really need to start branching out more, forcing myself to grind through the jobs I know will pay me a decent hourly wage and also having the courage to take a chance on the work I love.

Most nights, sometimes I forget, I hand-write my goals for the next day, because I’ve found when I put pen to paper it sticks firmer in my mind than when I type them up. Most of the goals are repeats. For daily goals, I put down intermediate, achievable goals like today I will spend 3 hours business writing, 2 hours on romance, and 2 hours editing (novel title here). See how that works, refine for the next day, and so on. For broader spans of time, I say this week I want to edit three chapters of my novel, this month I want to finish a second a draft, complete a short story, get that submission into that publisher.

I definitely agree that definite goals are a good thing. They are also hard. Maybe it’s my generation, but I hate to be “tied down.” I was speaking to an older friend this past week about how all the options make it so much more difficult to choose one. I have every song in the world in my Android phone, and yet I find that I don’t enjoy them as much as when I have a single burn CD. All my time and energy gets taken up trying to decide what to listen to, and by the time I have this song I love playing it’s just not as fun to listen.

Have you ever had that experience? There’s something comforting and better about limitation. We might think we want the world. We might think we want to live a life with no plans, every moment coming as it will. I for one definitely believe that about myself. That’s probably why it came as such a shock to me, this silly little question of playlists that mostly came up because of a wonderful camping trip in Yellowstone National Forest this summer where I had almost nothing and it actually made me appreciate those few things I had all the more.

Spontaneity is awesome, but plans are good, and I for one really need to be reminded/reinforced in that again. Yet again, another awesome IWSG question.

IWSG: November is Here!

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I seriously can’t believe it’s November already. After this, one more month to go before 2017. Time is flying for me this year. Writing wise, I have to be honest, I’ve been pretty down but I always get gloomy-feeling in Fall so I’m used to it, and this too shall pass. My traditional fall humdrums are kind of funny viewed from a distance, this feeling like everything is so dark and so terrible and that will never change. Now that I’m older I can laugh at myself and think you feel that way every year!

The question for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group this month is, what do you like most about being a writer? And that’s an easy one for me. I love creativity. I love making new worlds. Actually that would be the main reason I write, to get something new out of my system and onto paper. There is no feeling quite like it.

Hope you’re having a great November wherever you are. What’s something that brings you special joy and clarity? Are there things you can laugh about when you really need it?

Happy IWSG Day!

Friday Fictioneers: Unhappy Ending

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

My weekly submission for Friday Fictioneers where every week we write 100 word stories in response to a photo prompt. For more stories and to add your own, click on the froggy!

Unhappy Ending

We watched with held breath as the front end loader dislodged the roots of the two-year-old oak. Two years had passed since Richie disappeared, most said a runaway, always a problem kid. Then came the anonymous note to the sheriff: Kyle killed Richie.

Wood crackled. Dust sprayed. Men with shovels dug. Then we all saw it, the faded scarlet backpack. His mother screamed, fell sobbing to the ground.

They say knowing is always better than not knowing. Maybe. I should have written sooner. I was scared Kyle would kill me if I told, but he’s gone now too. I’m sorry.

 

Celebrate the Small Things

Wow, so it’s Friday again. This week was a slow week in some ways and that’s probably because I got a lot of (boring – yawn) work done.

  1. Sold quite a few business writing pieces, enough so I feel almost like an actual writer. Even though I really love fiction, it gives me this happy feeling inside to know my writing is helping someone somehow. Also the money helps!
  2. I got a lot of yard work done, including some pruning of tree branches which I’m really proud of myself for because it’s kind of scary. Also, a little over a year into this new home I’m finally starting to figure out where everything is.
  3. Got my regular cardio in, including a trip to local Wildwood Park and gym trips on cloudy/rainy days. Weather has been so awesome here. I wish it could be like this forever! But I know Winter Is Coming.th
  4. Oh yes, I’m actually reading Game of Thrones and am on the second book now. I actually started reading it over a year ago and was totally thrown by the fact that, after the creepy ghost zombie prologue, the main story starts with a beheading – and I’m supposed to like the guy who does the beheading. Yes. Indeed. And now, okay, I am loving the series.
  5. I’m working on this short story which I don’t even actually want to talk about right now. I sort of hate it, but in this way where I’m not sure if that’s because it is bad or if that’s because the subject matter cuts so close to the bone for me – which could mean it’s actually really good. All I know is I want to finish a rough draft and then walk away from it for a few days while I catch my breath and quietly hate on the bad guys and do other things. But first I have to finish a draft.

How was your week? Okay time for lunch and then back to work! Life is good.

IWSG: Ready or Not

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2

This is my monthly post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and I have to confess that this month’s question is really apropos for me. The question is: “When do you know your story is ready?”

Honestly, I usually can’t tell, not on my own, because I’ve found I have no clue if a story is good or bad or finished or not. I guess that is why feedback is so helpful and necessary. Because I only see what I expect to see and I rarely am able to see the big picture.

So I suppose that is my answer. I know a story is ready when people tell me that having read it they got something out of it, in other words that the story really works, even if it’s maybe not their cup of tea. Or on the other hand if the “story” is still just a crazy jumble or boring or <insert crazily obvious to anyone else error I’m too close to see>. There have been times I thought this story sucks when the problems were minor and vice versa.

How about you? When do you know your story is ready?

Happy October and (to those who celebrate it)…

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Friday Fictioneers: The Last Walk

PHOTO PROMPT © Amy Reese

In the Third Era, settlers came to Rygar IV by the hundreds, escaping from the over-crowded conditions which plagued their former homes. Metallic and brittle, the so-called Last Walk signified the last steps colonists would take, perhaps ever. In many cases, hope and oxygenators were their sole companions. Some would drown. Many died.

Thanks to these early settlers, Rygar IV now boasts domed cities, artificial islands, and of course our precious deep-sea mines. We who bask in the lights of the Blue City, who gaze in peace upon the loveliness of our Twin Stars, may we never forget.

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This is my weekly submission for Friday Fictioneers, where every week we write 100-word stories in response to a prompt selected by our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For more stories, click on the frog!

Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrate blog hop

It’s Friday again, and that means it is time to celebrate all the great and small things which have happened this week.

  1. I tested my house heat partly because it got a tad chilly but mostly because the chill reminded me I should – before winter gets here! I’m glad I did too, because the heat wasn’t working and the fuel company was able to get a guy over the very next day. He fixed it AND gave me maintenance tips for the future. It was a relatively simple fix, but I hate to think what would have happened if it were truly cold out. For those in the northern hemisphere with home heating systems of the might-not-work type, have you checked yours yet? Don’t forget!
  2. I’ve been writing and started research that will hopefully help me pull plot points together for the novel I’m working on. I’m relying heavily on Semitic mythology, which has led to some fun stories including lesser-known tales from 1,001 Nights.
  3. On Monday I got to spend time with family, including a nice walk through Smithville Park and groundhog spotting. So adorable, so glad it isn’t in my yard.😉

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Then there’s the other little things, business writing sold (yay) to help pay the bills, unpacking of stuff in storage, and keeping up with cardio via the gym. How about you? How was your week?