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Heartbroken on Valentine’s Day

We all know that Valentine’s Day and me aren’t friends. Haven’t been for years. It just always turned out to be a crap day. Even when I did have a legitimate Valentine. It’s like Cupid circles my head and shoots flaming darts. But this one…this day started out fine. I finally remembered the cookies for my daughter’s school party. The teachers have only been after me all week. Yesterday they stapled a reminder…stapled! a reminder to her backpack. Then left another note inside her binder. I get it! Cookies. Anyway, I remembered. Then I set out and got everyone close to me a valentine, some fashion of a sweet, and a little $5 nothing. But something, really. I got my daughter a musical on DVD, my son these beans he collects. (They have magnets inside). And yada, yada, yada. I went in late to work, scored a free lunch, and went home to have a wonderful dinner made for yours truly. Whew, I made it. Then a few things happened, or as we know it, Cupid shot the first flame. First, my daughter confided that everyone in her homeroom got a carnation, some even 2 or 3, and she was the ONLY one who got nothing. None. Who does this? Why can’t the teacher read on the sheet who is getting one, have extras, and make sure no one leaves the room without one? Nope. So there my little girl sported around all day without a flower. She said she seriously could have cared less. Right. But alas, there is NOTHING I can do to right that wrong. Valentine’s Day is going to become one less rocking day to her, as well. Then my littlest boy comes to me and hands me 3 Valentine’s cards he received. 3. Not one of those homemade shoe boxes you used to make to hold the 20 that would come, but 3. He’s in the 5th grade, so you’re not asked to exchange them. In fact, they didn’t even send out a sheet with a list of names. And he didn’t want to give any–he’s a boy. And so it hit me. Hard. This is his last year in elementary school. The last time it will even be an option. (let me wipe the tears as I continue to write). My kids are growing up too fast. Way too fast. Said daughter will get her driver’s permit next month. Where does this leave me? I’ll tell you where. In a fetal position, crying my eyes out, surrounded by scrap books of all my little babies. Is this what empty nest feels like? Aren’t we supposed to be waiting until they fly out?        Nope.

I think I need to give serious thought to admitting I can’t live here anymore. For health reasons of not tolerating the cold, I must leave. I must find a place closer to the sun, with a dash of salt water, and lots of warm air. Like lots. It’s getting worse the older I become. Scratching ice off my windshield each morning, wearing layers like an onion, and practically sitting on a space heater at my desk is getting old. Way old. What happened to global warming? When is it happening? I can take a month of cold. Tops. After Christmas it needs to snap back to a cool spring of 6 months. Why can’t this be done? For crying out loud.

Oh yeah, I suffered through strep throat last week. Um, don’t ever want to do that again. Luckily no one caught it. I stayed in bed for 3 days. So unlike me. Even my bones were crying to stand up again. It was awful. This is what it felt like when I swallowed.No joke.

I’m gearing up for my book release, and writing my next book at the same time. It’s amazing how I can catch such a tailwind of writing, then sit down for a second and wonder, “where is this thing going?” And that my friend is the intercom calling for WRITER’S BLOCK. Never ask yourself where this is going. Just drive. The story will find its destination just fine. So, I’m off to not ask myself any questions, not ponder how my littles are growing up, and not thinking twice about adding another pair of socks or sweater to my already 2 layers. Peace out and have a great weekend!

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When Your Story Isn’t Over

01-falling-out-of-love-relationship-problemsValentine’s Day is over. I would post a picture of what I got, but it seems the internet highway is extremely polluted with cute little flowers and candies. And plus, for those who didn’t get anything, it sort of sucks, I would think. I came home with Valentine goodies for my adorable children, and wouldn’t you know it…one of them cried and hated what I picked for him. Yes! I have one of those hard-to-please, doesn’t-matter-what-you-get-them, kids. No matter what I get that boy, it translates to a bag of poop in his eyes. He tells me I get him bad things because I love the other children more. Pa-lease. He used to be so adorable, so loving, and so kind…when he was an infant through three years old. I have no idea what happened after that.

So onto my latest book. As previously written, for this one I really did some outlining for the plot. I mapped an ending and stayed the course….Then I got to the chapter before the last chapter, and something happened. My mind changed, my heart stopped loving the end, and I just couldn’t do it. Spoilers aside, I had simply fallen out of love with my happily ever after. There was no happily ever after. Not now. Too much had happened in the story. I’d fallen out of love with my hero. I needed like a hundred pages more to do it right. And who wants to read that long of a book? So I did something courageous…I made it into a series. Yes, another one. The Amy series being my first go at the series thing.

It’s fine. You know…this notion of writing this book as a series. I hope it’s fine. I mean, I really like Sarah. And I like writing her story. I just hope I have enough to stretch it. I think I do. Nah, I will. Something always creeps into my brain, giving me more words, with more characters to grow and love. Wish me luck…onto book 2.

snoopy_writing

contemporary, fiction, romance, Uncategorized

Pressure Over Tom

tom-selleck-69606I’ve never had writer’s block before. Never. Until now. Thanks to my readers loving Tom, I feel a little pressure to bring him to the forefront with Amy. I’m getting a lot of grief from a few of my biggest readers. Little hints here and there, threatening not to finish the series unless Tom is the victor. You know, that sort of thing. But is this what I envisioned when I starting writing it? Will everyone be angry with me if I don’t do as they wish?

“The Best of Me”, by Nicholas Sparks, had two different endings. Thank goodness. The bad one had me extremely cross with the writer. Are you kidding? Kill off the main squeeze? I was so angry, I didn’t turn off the television until I viewed the alternate ending. Why even have the stupid ending as an option? To irritate people, I suppose. Who would raise their hand in a test group and say “kill the guy we’ve all come to love and hope to end up with the heroine?” Who, I ask? And if I remember correctly, it was like one o’clock in the morning when I finished the stupid ending. My eyes were half-shut when I flipped it to the right ending. My mate even rolled over, cursing it before going to sleep. I couldn’t do that. I HAD to see the right ending. Afterwards, I was at ease. All was right in the world then.

So what to do about Tom? I love the guy, too. Who wouldn’t? He loves Amy, he knows her very well, he’s got class, and he’s very handsome. To crush the poor guy for the sake of moving on seems harsh. And that’s all I’m saying. I’ve had heartburn over the whole thing. I get chastised weekly about putting Tom where he needs to be…but what about the story? Amy needs to grow. Can she with Tom?

No, really…can she? My writer’s block needs to know. If I’m going to make my deadline for book 3, someone needs to rest my mind that it’ll be all right either way. 🙂 No alternate ending necessary!

P.S. If you haven’t read “Waking Amy” and “Leaving Amy”, I apologize. You have no clue what I’m rambling about. Please get the books, read them, and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear them. 🙂

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Writer’s Block Denial

writers-blockSo for about a month, I haven’t really written. Okay…maybe a few pages. But even those felt forced. And don’t they, whoever ‘they’ are, say that you should write every day, whether you want to or not?

Perhaps the reason I couldn’t write was because of all my release things going on. Perhaps it was because my chair felt uncomfortable, I had too many clothes to wash, the moon wasn’t out…I don’t know. Whatever it was, it wasn’t happening when I lit up the ‘Word’ function of my keyboard.

Let’s face it, you can’t force inspiration. It’s either there or it isn’t. Specifically, I’m writing the third and final installment of my Amy series. I marvel that I finished the second one. It’s such a relief to know it’s finished. It even passed the beta reader tests. Two thumbs up, they said.

I know what it is! It’s the pressure to get it right again. Look at “Fifty Shades of Grey.” That girl has got to feel the pressure. Incidentally, I’ve heard not so rave things about the second book. I mean, once you did it amazingly right the first time…    And “Harry Potter”? Didn’t she write the next book unaffiliated with it, under a different pen name? Did she feel the pressure, too?

Not saying that “Waking Amy” is all that. But, I felt strained to do the second one. Albeit, it’s over with and I like it more than the first…but then I have a third one to contrive. I need this one to be the best of all three. End with a bang. Shrimps on the Barbie!, if you know what I mean. Maybe it’s a series thing. I don’t feel this pressure for writing standalones.

Whatever the reason, I identify myself with being a supreme procrastinator. (see previous blog post on this problem) I have to have someone breathing down my neck, a gun pointed to my piggy toe…just to get it moving.

But good news! I wrote an outstanding 7,000 words today. And it wasn’t that difficult. Once I get all the imaginary people in one room, they tend to start talking. Then the buzzer rings, and I have to put the dinner on the table! Oh well, I’ll start again tomorrow. Hopefully, Amy will remember where we left off, and the lines she’s supposed to be saying. 🙂

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Guilty Writing

guiltThis last week has been one of those times that a story has consumed my every waking moment. My sleep…my driving…my working. It has pulled me from the lines of cooking, cleaning, and generally being present in this day. Although it’s wonderful to be visited by a forceful muse—one that pours ideas onto me like a raging waterfall, it has its downside.

As with anything you do independently from home—work or online classes—you run into the guilt factor. At least I do. As a writer, I’m sitting there typing away, doing the side-glance of the dirty dishes, the dirty laundry, and the empty cabinets where food once occupied. I wrestle with character motivation, as well as my own, in terms of getting other things done that need to get done. And I know! I’m at work, right? Writing is my job; one of many. When I do my other job on location, I’m not listening for the dryer to play that most annoying tune, and running to get the clothes before they wrinkle and I have to actually lay a hot iron to them. No, I’m doing whatever that job is. All that’s around me is filing cabinets, desks, computers…or cakes and pies. Pick the job!

Excuse the rant. It’s just that I’m trying to justify the time I’ve put into my latest book and not my daily chores. Even my plants are looking listlessly out to the rain, hoping it will break through the glass and moisten their roots. I kinda wish it would, too. Do you know how many plants I have to water weekly—sometimes twice if I want to see truly glossy foliage? I’ll save my plant addiction for another post!

Anyway, although I am thankful for the plentiful creativity that is pulsing through me now, I am waging the war on guilt. Hopefully it won’t take too long to download my brain onto the computer screen. I’d hate for the kids to come home from school and find my body taken over by the dust bunnies:)