First Cup of Coffee – February 11, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first iridescent cup of coffee.

We just gotta take a moment to say for that today is say it with me is everyone ready. It’s Friday Woo Whoo um whatever day of the week is an actual Friday for you. I hope that you can take a moment to celebrate the existence of fridays.

Ah, today is 2/11/2022 lots of twos and ones today seeds and soil we’re working them hope 2023 really is the manifestation right. Ah, so um, yeah here we are here we are then I I have a little bit of a tired at this point it was funny Lexi Chantal hi Lexi who often listens to this podcast. Messaged me last night and asked me a question about something. Um, what date I preferred for an event and I was like I had absolutely no, no fucking clue what she was talking about frankly and I said remind me what this thing is. And she said you know this thing that you asked me to put together that you assigned to me for SFWA so I was like oh that thing my god had totally dropped out of my brain although I will argue that that is um, successful delegation. And successful trust in your volunteer that you can hand something off and never think about it again until they ask a question about it which unfortunately I told her that I would participate in this thing not unfortunately I’m happy to participate Lexi. It was just funny. Because right now I’ve got I’m trying to get better at compartmentalizing because I am fighting this ah you know what? our deputy executive director Terra Lemay calls it the curse that being president of SFWA makes you lose a book a year whichever whatever that means. Ah, book for every year that you are president a book. Um each year that you would have write written and didn’t I don’t know anyway, I’m I’m fighting this particular I don’t want to call it a curse. What is it. It’s a um. Dire prediction I’m trying to fight this because since I write full time I should be able to do this. But what I find is that it it has to do with mental bandwidth because you all know that I I always go back to the. Picking cotton thing. You know that writing isn’t picking Cotton running an organization like SFWA isn’t picking Cotton um, and and I have family who picked cotton my.

Great grandparents were sharecroppers in North Carolina Scottish um known and even my grandparents didn’t pick Cotton but you know my my grandfather worked in a furniture factory. So I mean there’s hard labor and and I will often freely invite it or not tell people that the hardest job I’ve ever had in my whole life was being a cocktail waitress that was the worst that was the most grueling work and I am so glad. I have the education and intelligence and privilege and all of those things that I was able to make my living in ways that was not being a cocktail waitress because I got paid way better for doing way less work. But. Ah, it’s one of those fundamental unfairnesses of the world. Tip your cocktail waitress as well people. Um they they seriously deserve it anyway. I probably went on a couple of different tangents. There. So let’s see not picking Cotton ah, but. There is a thing of mental bandwidth that mental bandwidth is a thing and one of the things that I’ve discovered is especially the way I write a book I mean I I know I’m fortunate in that I write a book pretty much from beginning to end and then I hold the whole story in my head. But. Holding out entire book in your head especially as you get into the final week of writing it is um it it takes up a lot of mental bandwidth right? It takes up there. There’s a little finch that just landed on my window ledge and is peering in at me. Ah. What that was a sign from the universe little redfinch and the blue birds of happiness are outside so all as well. But 1 thing I’ve discovered is that being president of SFWA. Does require a certain amount of of mental bandwidth as well and I’m trying to get better about compartmentalizing and I was talking about this with Kelly Robson the other day because she was talking about. Ah. How much of she feels like writing occurs in the back brain when she’s not actually writing and she’s had a very difficult several months here and she’s been grieving and she said she thinks that maybe grieving was taking up a lot of that. Um you know that back brain and she wasn’t um.

You know it was like the well wasn’t refilling and I can see that I don’t think vine’s the same way because it’s not grieving but I told her I’m really trying to figure out ways to not think about SFWA stuff when I’m not doing SFWA. Or getting distracted by birds now. There’s a ah flicker out there. Very beautiful flicker big bird I like looking at the birds because they are merry you get points if you get that reference. So. Um, compartmentalizing. It’s a big thing because the and in some ways I’m doing better because the book is edging everything else out so yesterday. Oh I haven’t even opened my um oh well I won’t but well hold on. I don’t have to tell you to hold on but I do anyway pause. Okay, so yesterday went faster than Wednesday did Wednesday I only made it through 32 pages though I added over 2000 words Yesterday I added 1300 words and I made it through 59 pages which was better. But that means I’m on page two forty One of 3 34 they have gone up you alert readers will notice. So I’ve got 93 pages left on this revision I’ve got. Ninety Thousand four hundred and seventy nine words so 15000 words to go which theoretically I can get done next week 15000 en thousand work week 3000 words a day does it give me any time to revise so I may do some work over the weekend. Sort of see how I feel but yesterday required you know some adding of words and still some pretty intense mental work and there’s still 1 thing that I’m trying to decide even woke up this morning thinking about it which is that. Back brain working on the story. You do want that to happen but I was thinking about where I could if I need to put this thing in if it’s important to the cascade of the story. I’m not convinceded yet. But I won’t sit here and think about it while you guys are watching and listening I’m I’m gonna let it go for now I’m not gonna revisit it this morning I’m going to come back to it and decide. It’s breaking me that I’ve got like this.

You know what? this is this little poofy thing on my sweater for those of you on visual. It’s because I don’t ever lay flat to dry right? when you wash your clothes when you’re supposed to lay flat to dry I put them on hangers and hang them. We have a big 4 poster bed and I hang them from the struts on there but everyone’s want to get like this poofy sleeve thing. What I’m wondering is I know my mother lays some stuff flat to dry but does anybody else in the world actually lay stuff flat to dry I mean if I had everything that I’m supposed to lay flat to dry. When I do Andrew was actually laid flat to drive and it would like I would have to have them I anywhere’t know all over the floors and stuff where does this come from who has a place where you can lay stuff flat to drive I know that that’s a total digression but I’m wondering these things. Let me know if you have an answer very important question. So anyway, um I did get that work done yesterday and then I was just depleted I was brain dead and I more or less took the entire day off of. Stuff with stuff I answered a couple of emails but I just had to have an afternoon of doing not much at all I mean like I emptied the dishwasher and we went for a walk. We went for a walk in the outside it was. It was nice enough to go. Walk outside so that was pleasant and I don’t know I didn’t do a hell of a lot else I’m reading I’m reading um J D Robb’s Abandoned in Death which came out on Tuesday and that’s really fun because I fintished – fintished? – I finished a work. Um, um, we’ll just see how this comes out on the transcript I’m doing a pretty good job of not editing too much although I do have to go through and fix names because it’s not right if names are wrong. There is some profound wisdom for you. It’s not right if names are wrong, but you could. Mark that down make a tattoo of it ofsh my brain my brain is empty you guys ah so anyway, um, what was I even saying fit to oh I finished reading Intisar Khanani’s Thorn and I loved it. I really did it is um, especially because the romance is not only slow burn but it’s.

Barely there but it’s really earned by the story. Um I appreciated that the way that the story flows and it’s really one of the big divergences between the way she did her goose girl retelling and I did because mine of course has sex. Because my stories always have sex and hers. Not only doesn’t but it barely has that romance it’s it’s implied that the romance will come later. There’s the beginnings of it I guess. And but I do feel like the way the story goes that’s some you know it I do think that it makes sense and I I think it’s a gorgeous book I think she did a beautiful job of writing this book. I loved it. Um I do think it’s funny that um one of the. Faro fep gals Lisette Marshall like her books a lot or was it her that that some these gals have conversation Stephanie Prater SL Prater and Coleen Crowley, Vela Roth, Maria Zuniga – hope I got that right? anyway. Ah they were having this conversation about authors who have sex in their books also address other bodily functions whereas other authors who I you know I I don’t like to use the learn word clean because it drives me crazy. But. Ah, have off the page sex or no references to sex at all also tend not to reference bodily functions which I think is an interesting insight because and they were I saw it because they mentioned me I think lizette mentioned me. Because they were joking about how dark wizard opens with Gabriel and his aggressive peeing. You know he arrives on the land of his enemy and the first thing he does is is pee on it and and I think that’s funny because my characters do. Have bodily functions of all kinds and I think that’s very interesting that those of us who write on the page sex also are more willing to embrace more willing or we’ll leave it at more willing that that within text we also. Discuss the body in all of its many functions. It’s enticing or not whereas in a book like Thorn. There’s um, almost a.

I’m trying to think of what the word I want is the the characters become you know I mean they’re very rounded and real characters. But they become almost avatar-like in a way in that they don’t seem to have human bodies other than where. Injuries are concerned. There’s not much else about their bodies and even the injuries were I don’t know like a step removed and I think it just has to do with like where we where we root ourselves. It’s it’s more of ah of an intellectual. Approach. It’s more in the head or in the spirit even as opposed to being rooted in the body I know that Grace Draven writes much more rooted in the body like I do that something that we have in common. It’s. Just an interesting thing to think about so let’s see oh. So then I finished thorn fat I should do something I realized I hadn’t noted that I’d finished thorn. And started reading abandoned in death on my spreadsheet and I don’t like it if I get my dates behind very important things. so um so yeah it’s really It’s always fun to read Nora she’s she’s good for especially when i’m. Drafting this intensely It’s really good for me to have these really competent writers in my head.

Sometimes people ask me if I worry about what I’m reading leaking into the story and I don’t I think I’ve talked about it here before once or twice but you know people who plagiarize other works are doing it on purpose. The. When they say that it’s subconscious or inadvertent. That’s an excuse we we are what we take in It’s a way of refilling the well. Um, yeah so I read abandoned and deaths quite a bit yesterday afternoon. Did a few things. Not a lot. Not a lot and we watched oh you know what? we watched Little Miss Sunshine had not seen that I think since it came out back in 2006 and I did not remember that Steve Carell was in it I mean it’s ah it’s a great cast. Um, you know Alan Arkin and Toni Collette who I love I think she’s amazing and I’m not gonna be able to think of his name. He wasn’t as good as it gets it might come to me but also Abigail Breslin she got you know was nominated for best supporting actress in that movie. She plays a little girl paul danow is in that but Steve Carell plays Tony Collette’s brother who tried to commit suicide and I was thinking. Well how did I not remember that and it turns out that Steve Carell was kind of a nobody and. 2006 he was a relative unknown in hollywood and but that same couple of years and it took him 5 years to make the movie and it it said that the producers and directors were a little hesitant who cast Steve Carell because he was so unknown but then by the time the movie came out. He had just won um maybe an emmy for his first year in The Office season. 1 of The Office and and also 40 year old virgin had come out and so he’ had like rocketed to superstardom. So I just think that’s really funny. I have to figure out the name of the guy Greg Caner you guys probably all knew this you were probably all shouting it at me all right? So ah yeah, I’m just going to get back to revising today at least now I’m into the stuff that I wrote more recently let’s just see. Yeah I am I am now into the stuff that I wrote three weeks ago so it’s much more alive in my head which is good and bad. Ah, it’s good to have that distance get that distance from the charm of recent composition right? But also it.

Feels more um, alive does that make sense I’m not going to search for more words I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to think of or maybe it was the day before what is time who am I trying to think of what’s the word for like if you leave school. And it’s like well not ditching and is it. It’s was it dropping out or was it skipping um being delinquent I was really having a hard time if only you guys were there too. Yeah, a little speaker on my desk and tell me these words when I need to think of them. But anyway so we’ll see we’ll see how far I get today. We’ll see how I feel I may work over the weekend to give myself buffer time and then I will probably take the following wake off see like I’m learning. Um, trying to learn anyway. I hope that you all have a wonderful Friday I hope that you have a wonderful weekend whether it’s time off for you or not I hope you are productive I hope that your brain delivers the words that you need when you need them. And I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye-bye.

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