Getting that Word Count While Traveling – How Do You Do It?

I’m delighted to announce that THE SHIFT OF THE TIDE is up for preorder!! A few others will be coming soon, but – as with many things – Amazon is fast and efficient, making us both love and loathe them. Smashwords wants me to promise to upload the final doc ten days before release and I … just can’t. Ten days is forever in my world, regrettable as that may be. But, hey! The book is coming along really well, and I’m tentatively thrilled with it.

~knocks on wood~

~tosses salt over shoulder~

~pets black cat and gives it extra treats~

Want to see a little snippet? Okay! But you have to click over to the SFF Seven, where our topic this week at the SFF Seven is Writing On The Road: How to stay on task while traveling. See what I did there? Tasty, tasty click bait! 😀

What’s the Ideal Amount of Time to Take Between Writing Novels?

These signs always amuse me so much. Although, in New Mexico, the lakes are often somewhat hidden from view, and one can come upon them precipitously, from flat mesa to deep canyon filled with water. Still… the warning signs make me smile.

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven is the Novelist’s Refractory Period: How you handle that time between “just finished the novel” and when you “have” to start the next. Come on over for my take. 

The Writer as Friendly Curmudgeon – Building Fences Without Walling People Out

One of my favorite pictures of my mother, embodying all her effervescence and zest for life – letting her fringe fly. 

It’s apropos for me that week’s topic – which has to do with attempting to be both a writer and a socially acceptable person – falls on Mother’s Day. My mother is tremendously social person. She’s good at it, and she loves it. Me… well, I’ve always struggled a bit with feeling like I’m not as good at it, and it took me a really long time to understand that about myself. Come on over to the SFF Seven to read more

Climbing Back into Routine

I took this photo back on July 3. Apparently. I don’t remember taking it and was surprised to find it in my cache of photos to use.

But that seems about right – July was when everything seriously picked up speed. Although I note that I talked about my decimated writing schedule on June 19, alas. I was also in a heavy meme of Cute Kitten Pics for a while. There will be more of those to come!

Still, between work travel, conventions, graduation with family visits, I’ve been totally off my rhythm and ritual.

You all know how I am about my rituals.

~weeps for shattered rituals~

So, today, I’m climbing back on the wagon. Like a party girl after a six-week bender, I’m going clean and sober again. This means full rules of observing word count and writing time. Turning off the interwebs. Code One Writing Rules.

See, the rituals are there to create that sacred space to write. I’ve talked about this many times, such as here. For me, there’s a sense of building a wall around that sacred space. We all build those walls in different ways. For me it’s about a certain time on the clock, using Freedom to keep me from looking at the internet, playing particular music and enforcing word count goals. Once I’m in my rhythm, I can bend some of those rules, because I’m in the space. I don’t need to work so hard to create it.

But now, with my sacred writing space in rubble at my feet, I have to reimpose maximum measures. It’s like placing myself in solitary confinement until I can demonstrate better behavior. I know it will be painful at first and after that, the writing will flow again and I can take a few hours in the exercise yard.

On that note… see you on the flip side!

When Your Writing Schedule Gets Decimated

There’s lots of stuff out there about how writers and cats go together.

It’s true – the two creatures have similar natures and habits. A lot of that has to do with quiet and contemplation.

You might also notice that this is always about cats and never kittens.

This is our New Kitten, officially named Jackson.

I finally managed to get this photo, when he ran out of energy and got a little sleepy. I have requests for video. So far, this is the best I’ve managed:

Jackson 2

It gives you an idea of the eternally moving target I’m dealing with here. Is he a good desk companion? Oh yes! Every inch of my desk, all the time. Keyboards are for walking on. My face is right there for loving on. He goes for my tea. I move it to the other side. He follows. I move it back. He follows. Persistence, thy name is Kitten.

So, yeah – my even, pleasant rituals are shot all to hell. If I’m not trying to see through a tail, I’m mediating conflicts with Isabel, who is decidedly cranky about the whole thing. Here was her statement from last night.

Hint: look at the end of the near canale. Yes, we got her down. She’s been up on the roof before, but we had to get out the extension ladder last night. Just so I would know that she is DISPLEASED.

So, now I’m trying to get my schedule back into place – knowing full well I’ll lose it again, because I’m headed to Rom Con on Thursday. (Hey, if you’re coming, or are in the Denver area, stop and say hi!) I’m trying to be Zen about it all. My life is overall pretty even and peaceful – like I said yesterday, I don’t know how you people with little kids do it – and this kind of disruption doesn’t happen often.

I think that’s part of the staying the course with writing: knowing that sometimes different parts of life get in the way. And that’s it’s all good. All part of being a connected human being.

Just like getting back to my exercise routine after the holidays, to extend my recent analogy. Starting off slow and easy.

Working my way back up to full intensity.

(With only a little whining.)