First Cup of Coffee – March 14, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee which is actually green tea this morning see how I am just. Getting healthy all over the place today is Monday March Fourteenth Pi Day three fourteen three point one four I don’t know why people think that’s funny except that they like to post pictures of Pi which has nothing to do with pi pi but. Such is the internet. Ah so um, hope you all had a good weekend I had a um I had a very unstructured weekend I had 1 scheduled meeting counted one and. It only lasted like 20 minutes so I actually did not do a whole hell of a lot I was trying to figure out what I actually did with my time David was out driving a lot and I just kind of I don’t know I hermited. There were. It was not great weather I mean it was sunny and so it was nice inside the house but there was a ah sharp cold wind blowing. Um yesterday I did go out and start raking out on the east side of the house pulled out the dead getritus from the winter there. Consider doing it out in the secret garden because the daffodils are starting to come up but I did not do that. Um I did not have a a strong plan and so not a lot happened I read a lot I’m now on the fifth book of. Juliette Marillier’s Sevenwaters series and it was funny because David left yesterday morning I did laundry I washed all the clothes and David was very appreciative of that. Um.

And I cleaned up the kitchen but it was funny cause he came home I don’t know around 5 or so and he asked me you know he asked me if I had a good day and I said yes, it was nice and relaxing and he said what did you do and I’m like I’m not sure, but that’s sure what I did I got. A couple of things off of my to do list. You know those things that sit on your to do list and sort of gain gravity with every day that you slide it down the to- do list god I hate those things. Ah, ah, you know and then they don’t take that long to do I don’t know what is to deal with those It’s that dread and procrastination right? Just hard to get to that stuff I almost feel like I should have written down what I did all weekend but I’m also ah but. Since like my warring selves right? I’m also was trying to relax and forcing myself to relax. That’s an old joke David and I have from back when we taught Tai Chi classes there was this because Tai Chi you try to let go of force and you relax and so you. Get into these standing forms or postures and movements and you try to do them in the most relaxed way possible and so we would do a lot of exercises with like heavy arms. You know where you would try to you know, let someone else take the weight of your arm and give it out and you would give it up and it’s it’s really not easy to do. There are a lot of um, it’s part of that practice of of giving up control and relaxing letting things go and there was this one young guy who came to take the classes and he was just um. Not the kind of guy who gave up control easily and David was working with him and saying um and the guy is like oh a hair and David’s like okay you you you need to try to to let go you know? don’t don’t force it and the guy so says. Um. Says I’m forcing myself to relax, but not how it works reader. Oh my ts hot. so um yeah so I was definitely I was going back and forth especially yesterday because Saturday I was getting more things done yesterday I was thinking I could do an unplugged day and then I didn’t and I kind of regretted it I I should have stayed unplugged I was not sticking with my resolve very well.

And I have not been sticking with results very well lately. So I don’t know what my deal is I’m trying to ah I did a yoga class yesterday. Um, and that was funny because you know I did it on the the Vimeo at least it wasn’t zoom. It wasn’t live. My favorite yoga teacher and I thought okay I’m gonna do this in class and you know because I really need to get back into the in yoga and and she was talking about. Um you know, like settling into it and letting go and listening to. Yeah she’s my favorite yoga teacher. She’s great, but she was starting out with saying um you know to ask yourself a question you know to have a a question for your practice and I thought I don’t know what my question is so I’m like can my question be what is my question and I decided it could and. She was um, you know, just encouraging us to sit with it and stay in it and all of this and I was not doing a good job of staying in it and I thought and oh and she was saying you know to listen to our bodies and what. Bodies need and I got halfway through the class and I thought I must don’t want to be doing this so I stopped and I thought well you know at least half an hour you feel good was half an hour more than I had been doing. Um. So yeah, I’m just trying to listen to myself and figure out what it is that I need to be doing what makes me happy to be doing and sort of to restore this equilibrium I have been doing some financial stuff and that makes me happy to like get the numbers in order. Been moving some money around and doing a few things that I’m excited about that are going to put us in a better financial place and so that’s part of what I’m thinking about and I am excited to try this um lower word count goal and see how it goes. Um. Megan Ciana Doidge commented that that she does the wax and wane thing too and and I think that’s very true that um. And and I do I follow that same pattern when I’m starting a new book in particular, especially if I’ve had a couple of weeks off or I’ve been doing a lot of editing it does take a while to ramp up in those words again and so maybe reducing my word count goal.

Isn’t the right thing to do because when I was figuring out and I talked about this on Friday that you know my average is a little shy of 10000 words a week that is the average overall and it’s not um. And the thing to remember about averages math is that it’s a combination of the highs and the lows and so if I reduce my word count goal overall will that drop the average down. That’s the question or is it more sustainable and I think that the difference here is. Is that little birdie on the porch caught my attention that is looking at those weeks that I’ve actually gotten 15000 words a week um or ah, yeah, 15000 words a week so 3000 words a day and early twenty Twenty one I was doing a little bit better but still there are not that many weeks where I have actually hit 15000 words a week. So I think that’s the difference. I do think that there’s something to be said for yes at different points the the book will go at different rates of speed and Megan was saying that towards the end sometimes she’ll get four or five thousand words a day and. And I certainly have days like that. But I don’t I don’t do them I I don’t let myself do that unless I’m like seriously behind like I was with gray magic I don’t know it’s it’s an eternal push pull isn’t it. Trying to figure out the difference between what we the disciplines we impose upon ourselves and and when we need to listen to what we organically want to be doing um and I think that’s um, you know it’s pertinent today because. We just switched to daylight savings time in the us I think europe does it like maybe did it two weeks ago or does it in two weeks I forget I know there’s like two weeks where my assistant and I are off sync. Um, you know and so for me. It’s one of the consequences of having you know that I don’t wake up with an alarm clock I do not require myself to wake up at a particular time and that was something I decided a whole long time ago when I first went stopped doing the day job because a long time ago. Very long time ago now.

I did ah a writers residency at u crosss if you get a chance to do one of those things I do recommend it. It. It was um, it was extraordinary for me and a lot of voice. it was early on in my career and it was the first time. That anyone knew me primarily as a writer that introduced me as a writer like at the moment I arrived they took me around and introduced me to the other residents and they said this is Jeffe Kennedy she’s a writer and I was like I am? but um, but that’s amazing. Especially for you guys when you’re first starting out deb someone identify you as a writer first and foremost now I’m used to it is that sad that I’m used to it. Maybe it’s not sad I think it’s pretty wonderful. Um I’ve been reflecting on that how how fortunate I am um how you know my relative success. You know it’s one of those things where I’m not I’m always striving for more. But I’m really having to reflect on the fact that I do have a really robust career and that’s been growing and doing better all the time I don’t want to lose my train of thought but I do want to share and I put it on social media yesterday I went to look at the Amazon listing for gray magic. To grab the link or something I don’t remember why because I don’t normally go look at my reviews and I was startled to see that there were 108 reviews on Grey Magic already and it’s just been two weeks that it’s out I think that’s the fastest that any of my books has ever accrued reviews I remember this one time. And bank camp. Yeah sorry ah juvenile humor for the win. Grace Draven my bestie when we were early on when we were friends and radiance was still climbing the charts and all of that I remember her posting that. Radiance had a thousand Amazon reviews and she was so excited to pass that milestone and I was like that bitch Bitch! Ah but now Dark Wizard has like 350 something so I’m thinking I’m going to pass that milestone. And I’m gonna throw it in Grace’s face actually Grace is so generous. She’s always I said her my thing about my hundred and eight reviews that she was like that’s fantastic. She never says to me. Oh you, you poor sweet summer child. Ah so anyway, um.

1 thing about being on that writer’s retreat at Ucrosss was it was my schedule was totally up to me and so I decided that I would not set an alarm and that I would go by natural calendar. And just see what it was and I think it’s one of the first times in my life since maybe like summers and high school or something that I had not set an alarm clock and there’s really something to be said and and I’m sorry for those of you who have schedules where it’s not something you can do. But there really is something to be said for waking up on our natural rhythm because our sleep cycles are slightly different every night and the alarm clock disrupts that but waking up, you know at the natural cessation of a cycle is um, it’s so much more restful. Ah, so the downside of it is when daylight savings time occurs like this my sleep cycle is still attuned to to me to my natural place rather than of the clock. So I didn’t start this podcast till nine o’clock which is eight o’clock in real time and so now I’m feelinging a little behind and I’m having to work breathe through that I’m not behind the clock doesn’t matter. Although. My appointments in like the afternoons and stuff haven’t changed so in some ways it does matter I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. Oh Joy. So um, so yeah, that whole figuring out I remember when I was younger and I would like take the weekend off or something and I never thought of it that way but where I would end up screwing around all weekend. And the time would just kind of vanish and I didn’t feel bad about it in the same way. Um, but I was really kind of trying to do that really kind of. Do you hear me. But I’m I’m very torn I was I probably should have unplugged yesterday and just. Given myself over to not doing anything at all on the computer but I did do some things and then I started fretting about the things that I didn’t do so.

But yeah, what’s interesting during that yoga class and thinking I don’t want to be doing this anymore. That’s enough maybe that was a real thing that that was enough. Yeah, so I don’t know what else. It’s been interesting reading these books I’m reading Seer of Sevenwaters which the author puts at the front that she was writing this while she was receiving cancer treatments in like 2007 I’m going to sneeze. I’ve learned how to pause and not sneeze in your ears. Um, and it’s still very good. She’s an excellent writer and I love these stories. It’s interesting that this fourth book and fifth book have started kind of a new cycle and she. Says on the fourth book. Heir of Sevenwaters that she thanks her agent for helping her brainstorm the novel and it’s very interesting because it feels like the first three she had very definite ideas for and this next set. Um. Are much closer together in time which is what I’d said originally that I was surprised by book 2 that she did a generational leap and now she’s staying very much within a much shorter timeline I don’t know it’s almost It would be interesting to talk to her. Because I feel like she had an idea for the first 3 books that was kind of this epic sweep and these next books don’t have quite the same heft and it could be that she wasn’t feeling good. It’s hard to write books when you don’t feel good. But I’m still loving it and and to be fair. There are very few authors who can stand up to being glommed in this way to having one book after another read and it. You know and and especially when I’m reading with my writer brain because I do notice repetitions and 1 mistake and I always worry about people doing that to my books so so yeah today is the first day of trying for the 2000 words a day. And we’ll just see what we get and a noble experiment right? And yeah, but in that guess not a lot to report I think we’re just always trying to find ways to.

To be kind to ourselves and still produce the things that we want to do right? Um, special shout out to Meghan by the way who she posted to social media. So I’m sure it’s fine. Had a hysterectomy and I told her that. Every woman I know who’s had a hysterectomy says it was best thing they ever did so I hope it is for you too. Mehan and I hope you are at home now and recovering well um, yeah, suchha life right? but. Hope you recover and you’ll be back on your feet because Megan also uses walking desk walking in right and again and all the rest of you get out there on your feet, get some exercise, be kind to yourselves if you can get on your feet and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care. But bye.

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