Wherein I Write a Blog Post to Avoid Doing Actual Work

Hi Lovelies!

This week is the last week of classes, which means I have all sorts of papers and projects to be working on. Which, of course, means I’m procrastinating by writing a terribly long-overdue blog post. Congrats, gentle readers! You win!

Well. NaNoWriMo has come and gone, and I have failed spectacularly. I’ve never won, though I’ve gone on to complete novels that I’ve started during NaNo, but this year I can barely even say I started it.

I think I capped out around 6k words.

NaNoWriMo Sadface

Even the logo is disappointed in me. 

I think there’s a lot of reasons for that, and a lot of excuses for it, too. I think I’ve got a solid base for a short story, though, which is what I think it was meant to be from the start. We’ll see where it ends up, eventually.

I’m sort of in this strange in-between land of waiting on agents to get back to me (though, I haven’t heard “no” yet, which is always good!) With my first novel, Broken, they were all pretty quick to reject me (and that’s okay) so it was easy to shelve it for a while and move on to the next project. With this one, I want to edit but I’m worried about editing before I hear back from some of my more promising leads. I want to work on another project, but I’m worried about funneling my creative energy into something before I hear back about this one and know where I should be focusing my creative energies.
Which is just silly, I know. I think, maybe, I’m worried that if I “move on” to another project, I’ll feel like I’m admitting defeat with this one? Which is also silly, but there ya go.
Hopefully, in two weeks when the semester is over, I can regroup and refocus. Until then, I’m going to try not to stress out about it.
Since I know where my creative energies should be going right now: My papers and projects for school.
Oh, fine. I’m going. /stomps off

PREP ALL THE THINGS

Hello, darlings! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m sorry. Please forgive me?

So, in case you haven’t heard, I did not win the Simon451 novel writing contest. Which…yeah, that’s kind of a bummer. But, at the same time, it was a total honor to even be in the top ten, and I’m sure I’ll find the right place for LYSISTRATA. I just need to keep looking.

Speaking of looking, I’m going to the Atlanta Writers Conference this weekend!  We just had one in May, and it was a blast, but I’m trying to ride this momentum as much as I can. I was sort of last-minute with registration, so by the time I decided to go, all the manuscript critique and pitch slots were taken.  I hope the editors and agents know that just means I’ll be stalking them at the mixer.

Did you hear that, editors and agents? You’ve been warned.

Though, to be fair my version of stalking is less “lion-in-the-grass” and more “awkwardly standing on the outskirts of a conversation and clutching my froofy blue drink like a life-line.”

Froofy

See? Froofy. 

On top of prepping for the conference, I’ve also recently decided I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year.  So I’ve been frantically putting together character sketches and outlining the super-basics of my plot. I still need to decide on an antagonist, but you know.  Details.

Have you done NaNoWriMo before? How about this year? Can I add you as a Writing Buddy? You can add me back — but only if you don’t make fun of my terribad MS Paint book-cover mock-up.

Well, you can make fun of it a little. It is pretty bad.

The Home Stretch

Sorry it’s been so quiet here. I have less than ten days until the deadline for the Simon451 contest. I’m simultaneously incredibly excited and incredibly nervous. That’s how these things work, right?

Thankfully, my book is done. Or, rather, I have it all down, from beginning to end. It’s a story, now, instead of just an idea in my head.  I have an amazing group of good friends/readers that have been giving me feed back. I’m revising like a mad woman. On top of that, school started this week for me, so it’s already demanding my precious attention. Thankfully I have an amazing husband and understanding kids, as I’ll be under this pile of work until…well, until it’s done, or September 1st. Whichever comes first. 

See you in September, lovelies. 

Burned

Sunburned, that is. 

I will never trust my husband to apply spray suncreen to my back ever again.  My very first day on the beach last week, and I had a beautiful red and white zig-zag pattern between my shoulder blades. That’s talent, I tell you.  Painful talent. 

Ow.  

At least the view was beautiful. 

Beach

My first day there, the weather was gorgeous. It wasn’t too hot. There were some clouds and just enough of a breeze.  I declared that I wanted a job that would allow me to do this the rest of my life.  I brainstormed ways I could write on the beach without ruining my laptop. 

Beach Sunset

So pretty. 

The next few days, however, the wind increased. It was constant, and it was no longer a slight breeze.  It kicked up sand, and the sand got in everything.  EV-ER-Y-THING.  My beach bag was mesh, and the sand just blew right through into my bag. Every day I’d get back to the house and have to shake everything out and rinse the bag. Suddenly that “bring my laptop down to the beach” idea went from being “ill-advised” to “HAH!”.  

I did, however, get a few scenes worked out in my head. I also got a surprise when I did write, and a scene went completely differently than I’d originally planned. 

I both love and hate it when that happens. 

Now I’m home again. We’re starting the kids on their “prepping to go back to school” routine, which generally includes less screen time and more projects.  I’m prepping to wrap up my semester, with two papers and a presentation. And, of course, writing. 

Back to the grind. 

If Music Be the Food of Love…

Or the food of inspiration…

I have a present for you, darlings.

I’m the kind of author that has to listen to music while I write. It can be music with words, or instrumental, but it usually involves headphones and it has to be tailored to what I’m writing. For every project I work on, I have a separate playlist. It helps bring me into the right mindset, and focuses my attention on the feel of the project.

I thought, just maybe, you’d like a glimpse of what I’m listening to for Lysistrata. So I compiled a Spotify playlist with most of the music I queue up. It’s missing a few, mostly because I couldn’t track them down. I’ll keep trying, and if I’m successful there will be a few new songs added. But it’s a done as it can get unless I have a search algorithm breakthrough, or the artist posts their music, so here you go!

And after you listen, tell me what you think!

Retreat

So I spent most of last week moving into our new house — which is beautiful, by the way!  I’m thrilled to be starting a new phase of my life with my family, and having more space to spread out. And a library! We have a library!

Well, technically it’s a “formal living room,” but who uses those anymore? So we’re making it a library/computer room. It’s going to be awesome.

There’s a pool and a lake in my new neighborhood. And bunnies! The bunnies are so cute. Until, I’m sure, I want to plant a veggie garden. Then they probably won’t be so cute.

And there are boxes. So. Many. Boxes.

So, like any good wife, three days after we moved into our new house, I left my husband and two lovely sons to fend for themselves, and I joined a good friend of mine in a cabin in the mountains for a writers retreat.

Retreat

So pretty.

I enjoyed beautiful mountain views, a hot tub, and plenty of time to work on Lysistrata. The result was the addition of several scenes I hadn’t planned, which is always fun. It also helped to get me back into the swing of writing after moving derailed things for a bit.  Unfortunately, I was on a pretty good roll when a crazy storm came through and encouraged me to go home before it got dark.

 retreat rain

There are mountains over there, I swear!

More writing today, though. It’s rainy outside, and I’m going to sit on my new couch in my new living room and look out my new window at my new back yard, and add some words to this project.

Moving

So, my home is no longer my home.

It’s such a weird feeling.

We signed the paperwork to sell our little house (that my husband fondly calls Breezehome) yesterday.  This house has been our home for ten years. It’s served us well, even though we outgrew it a while ago.  We sign the paperwork to buy our new house next Wednesday.

It’s exciting. And a little bit terrifying.

We’re not moving all that far.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal. But my kids will be going to different schools. My older son (whom I’ll call Thing 1) will be going into middle school in the fall. We figured it would be best to move him before then rather than move him in the middle of his middle school career, but he’s still a little angry with us. What was going to be a new adventure with his friends has turned into something uncertain and a bit scary.  “But I’m shy,” he says.  Thankfully, he’s less shy than he thinks he is, and makes friends pretty easily, but he’s certainly got his quirks. I hope he finds his people.

Thing 2 is going into third grade. He’ll be fine.

New house (which has yet to be named) is in a neighborhood with a pool, lake, tennis courts, playground, etc, so I’m hoping over the summer the kids can meet some of the neighborhood kids and make some new connections before school starts up.

So we’ll spend this last week packing up the last of our things and saying goodbye to neighbors. Thankfully that “not moving too far” thing will (hopefully) let them come visit often.

Goodbye, Breezehome. I hope you make the next family as happy as you made us.

         Breezehome