Friday, September 23, 2016

Mercury Direct ... FINALLY!!

Not that I'm a die-hard astrology believer, but I can definitely sense when Mercury goes retrograde.

For those that don't know what that means, let me sum it up by saying - Nothing bloody works!

There are usually issues with your computers (like the wonderful message of Disk error I kept getting when I'd start/restart my computer); conversations take weird and awkward directions; mechanical/electrical gadgets go on the fritz. Admittedly all those things can and will happen at any time, not just when Mercury is in Retrograde, yet the situations simply seem to happen much more often when the Messenger is moving backwards.

The interesting thing for me was the mention of dealing with past situations before Mercury goes direct because those issues seem to keep coming up.

Hmm...what could those issues possibly be?
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found on pinterest
Maybe it could be my recurring habit to stop writing and put everything and everyone else ahead of that writing goal?

Maybe it could be my tendency to stop believing that what I've put down is perfect for that moment in time?

Maybe it could be my inability to believe that I know what I'm doing when it comes to storytelling?

Or it could be all three.

If I break it all down, those three things seem very simple and easily overcome, right?


As my friend, Claire J. Monroe, so aptly named me - one of many nicknames besides "bitch", "fucking bitch", and "rotten bitch" when she's having a particularly difficult time avoiding my pointed questions - I am "Concrete Girl".

I tend to put information into concrete and it'll take a jackhammer or two to break that block of belief up enough to see the grain of truth that was morphed into a dam to hold back my trust in myself. Funnily enough, I have no problem seeing the truth and potential in others, I simply seem blind or in denial of my own skills, talents, and abilities.

This came home to me today when I was talking with a co-worker at my day job. In the last few weeks, I've been baking treats and sharing them with the people at my work. For one lady, I baked a marble cake (made with chocolate and butter cake batters swirled together in the pans) with a chocolate/dark chocolate pudding/mousse filling and dark chocolate whipped cream icing. She loved it and raved about how good it was. Today, I brought in the Jewish Apple Cake I baked last night. Again everyone who tried it, loved it. Some even asked for the recipe, which I was actually able to recall from memory, despite not having made it in months prior to last night.

You would think I would be accepting the accolades easily. I didn't. In fact, it was as if I was disinclined to see myself as having talent when it comes to making yummy desserts and treats.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciated every compliment I received, and I said "Thank you" to each person, yet at the same time, I kept hearing in my head "You didn't do anything special. What you did was easy; simple. Anyone could do it." Which might be true...or it might not.  As I rattled off the steps necessary to make the apple cake, I started with the comment, "it was easy..." then began my explanation, one of my co-workers said, "That's not easy. That's hard."

She was also the one who told me I had yet to bring in anything that she'd tried that didn't taste delicious. Again that quiet voice, which can get so damned loud, started in with, "That's not true. You've made plenty of things that didn't taste good, she's just being nice."

It's there that I had to call "Bullshit!" Because, this lady doesn't pull her punches, and isn't afraid to speak her mind, much like my friend, Claire Jane.

She wasn't lying. She wasn't simply being nice. She was being honest.

It was in that moment that I realized, I've regressed a bit in the last two weeks. I've noticed that that nasty, negative voice is becoming my more common place internal response since I've stopped making progress on Rogue Master. I've started feeling frustrated, and angry over the littlest things.

I don't like it. I recognize it was bound to happen when I hit a bump in the road, yet, after the last few weeks of feeling positive, and upbeat, and happy, these last two weeks have been miserable. I am angry at myself for falling back into an old, bad habit, but I'm not going to wallow in that anger.

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gif courtesy of
I'm going to take some time this weekend to reevaluate my goals, not only for my writing, but on other things. Then, I'm going to sit down and make a damned plan that makes the most sense for me and my goals. And I'm going to take a long hard look at what my characters are telling me - not just Rick and Becka, but the others that have been hanging in limbo for a while.

Wish me luck! If you have any advice about how to get the best results, please feel free to comment below.

Thanks for listening. Will talk to you later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Week 10 Analysis of Writing Challenge

baby falling mud
gif courtesy of
Hmm, ever have one of those days? You have a good plan, then

Yeah, that's about how Week 10  ended up. And the more time that goes by, the less time I seem to be allotting to my writing the way I had before the day job resumed.

Admittedly I added more words than in Week 9 (1,842) in 75 fewer minutes, but my biggest issue has been dealing with my own mistrust of my writing.

Yup, I'm back to that old problem, which makes me think...
maybe I need to put some time in figuring out what's making me go sideways every time I make it 50% to 75% of the way through my book.

But, I'm not going to get myself side tracked with my need for therapy or alone time with my ego and self-confidence in this post, this is all about information about my progress from Week 9 to Week 10.

The good thing about Week 10 was the increase in words in less time. I did get 20 pages of edits done, 9 less than the previous week. but considering I wasn't doing much of anything, shows that I at least gave a shot to doing work that my heart really wasn't in.

And that seems to be the theme for Week 10...loss of heart in the project that should be a project of my heart. Again, this will require internal digging and dealing with issues I'm not yet ready to look at, yet, I will get to it by Saturday.

I do intend to get more editing done. I did arrange the pages to allow me to work from the end to where I left off, which should allow me to make more progress on the story. I am still determined to get Rogue Master published by New Year's Eve of 2016.

If that happens, then I'll simply have a great kick off to 2017.

Thank you for sticking with me on this journey. I do intend to get another post up on Friday - Saturday at the least.

Hope you have a great Autumnal Equinox tomorrow!

See ya soon,

Friday, September 16, 2016

Full Moon Freak Outs

Okay, I'm just dropping in to leave a note...

I'm done with humans and the world until Mercury goes direct on September 23rd, and the full moon is gone!

Really! I mean come on people, there are only so many acts of insanity a person can take before they completely lose all patience. Don't get me wrong, I freely admit I am capable of moronic maneuvers, but at least I acknowledge them. I don't act as if "oh, no, that wasn't me being an idiot" (points at an innocent bystander still trying to figure out what the hell is going on) "It was him. I swear!" *fingers crossed behind the back*

Done. Done! DONE!! I tell more communication with the outside world until I absolutely, 100%, can't be avoided, must return to the day job Monday morning around 5 a.m.

Take care, and feel free to share any perspectives on why some people can be sooo ... brain dead but still breathing.

'Til later,

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Week 9 Analysis - Is Anyone Else Hearing the Hoover?

So, I'm not even going to try to sugar coat this...Week 9 sucked worse than Week 8.

I really need to get a handle on my motivation and make sure I'm working on my book. If anyone has suggestions, I'm willing to listen. I mean, really, I'm angry at myself, yet not angry at myself, because work has been crazy stupid. You try testing 600+ Kindergarten through 8th grade students while working around their lunch, recess, and specials times. Then toss in non-communication regarding other testing that needs to be done and you have a mild view of what my days are like until late next week.

I mean, seriously...I get to work anywhere from 5:00 - 6:00 a.m., work on my sub plans, follow up with trouble shooting any tech issues that may have cropped up for others, then organize a Writer's Club, a Sewing Club, and a Tech Crew Training Club, while trying to explain to 2nd through 8th graders that "no, I don't live at the school, and no, I don't think it's fun to spend until 6 o'clock at night every night letting them hang out and write or sew in my classroom with me."

I really do like the kids I work with, there are some really great ones, but, Lordy, there are days when I'd rather crawl under the covers and hibernate until Summer Vacation rolls around again.

Okay, whiny, self-absorbed rant over...on to the real reason I'm writing this blog.

I'm not even going to spout out the numbers or the lack thereof, because I know where I fell down on the job - sitting down and working through the story. I think it was the three days of arguing with myself about whether or not I needed two scenes I'd put in the outline. My gut was telling me, no, the scenes were nothing necessary to move the story forward, while my inner editor was chewing her nails to the quick and hyperventilating over deviating from the "plan". Like I've never done that before...Hello! Did we pay any attention to how many times Mattie's and Bryce's story was rewritten?

Suffice to say, I'm giving myself just enough rope to either a) hang myself with or b) climb out of the freaked out editor hole I've created for myself.

We'll see how it goes. Considering we're 6/7ths of the way through Week 10, not sure how I'll fare.

Will get back to you this weekend to let you know how the last day went.

Thanks for sticking with me,

Friday, September 9, 2016

Week 8 Analysis

Week 8, originally the last week of the Make Writing A Habit I Can't Break Challenge, has definitely turned out to be the most difficult one yet. Stalled progress seems to have been a theme last week - Claire's work slowed to a crawl and so did mine.

In week 8, I did 1,200 fewer words and 142 fewer minutes than week 7. As you can see by the lateness of this post, I also missed a few of my - assignments - this week as well.

The good thing is I have missed writing every night and, much like Claire, I have learned a new dislike for editing. I know, I know - editing is an important and necessary part of writing, yet it is a pain in the pa-tookis to deal with the angsty crap of looking at what I've written with a critical eye and I don't do critical very well - or didn't before this challenge.

Now, despite it taking so long to get through the first ugly rough draft, I know I'll complete it and begin editing the clean rough draft. While I won't make my original hoped for deadline, I will be publishing Rogue Master and begin moving on to other stories, because, no matter how many major or minor setbacks. I've suffered over the last eight weeks, the most important thing that's come out of it is - I have made writing a habit, I can't break - and I'm happier for it.

I may have days when I don't write, or I write very little, but my feelings about my writing have changed - it's an important part of who I am and I respect myself and what I consider important too much to let it go again. I recognize there will be moments when I'll hesitate or doubt what I've written, yet I know I can make changes to anything I write. What I can't make changes to is a blank page.  I'm not afraid to walk away from one story idea if it doesn't suit  the characters or story line - because, while it might not fit one place, there's no telling that it could work better elsewhere.

These last eight weeks have been an interesting journey of self-discovery. I've learned strengths and weaknesses in myself as well as the thought processes I use when developing and writing a story. I've learned patience and objectivity (this last I'm still working on...but I'm getting better at it.) I've learned the importance of taking a step back and looking at the big picture - even if I make a move before I process through all the information - I can see where an issue is and work toward fixing it.

Main goal for week nine is completing the ugly rough draft - that's it. Nothing else. Moving forward in baby steps until I can get organized and really get to my full stride. 

If you have any questions or want to comment about my progress or lack thereof...

Feel free to leave one.

Take care,